New NRC Study: BITS of POWER (fwd)

James H. Beach jbeach at NSF.GOV
Thu Apr 10 14:05:53 CDT 1997


Yesterday, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences announced the completion
of a two-year study entitled: "Bits of Power: Issues in Global Access to
Scientific Data."

Pre-publication copies of Bits of Power are available from the National
Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Lockbox 285, Washington, DC,
USA. Telephone: (202) 334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242.  The cost of the report
is $45.00 (prepaid) plus shipping charges of $4.00 for the first copy and
$.50 for each additional copy.

The study can be summarized by its general conclusion:

  Full and open access to scientific data should be adopted as the
  international norm for the exchange of scientific data derived from
  publicly funded research.  The public-good interests in full and open
  access to, and use of, scientific data need to be balanced against
  legitimate concerns for the protection of national security, individual
  privacy and intellectual property.

This is the study's first recommendation on access to databases in the
natural sciences:

  Governmental science agencies and intergovernmental organizations should
  adopt as a fundamental operating principle the full and open exchange of
  scientific data.

This report is full of interesting economic, legal, political and
technical information about keeping scientific data sets accessible for
research and education.

With the current debates in the U.S. Congress, the European Union and at
the international treaty setting 'World Intellectual Property
Organization' (WIPO), this report is timely in that it presents the U.S.
academic perspective for the need to keep scientific information systems
openly accessible.


______________________________________________________________________
Dr. James H. Beach                                 Tel:   703 306-1470
Program Director                                   Fax:   703 306-0356
Database Activities, Room 615            E-mail: jbeach at nsf dot gov
Division of Biological Infrastructure
National Science Foundation                           E-mail preferred
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230




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