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Appendixes

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Appendix A Scientific Practices To examine how any change in data policy or database legislation might affect research in environmental science it is important to understand how the scientific research community uses data. The basic principles that govern this aspect of modern scientific research have evolved so as to promote and reward creativity among individual researchers in a context of a professional ethics code aimed at preserving the credibility and integrity of the scientific process. Two essential mechanisms are employed to achieve this goal: (~) publication of data and results, including all reasoning and data processing steps; and (2) peer review of all information published, in a way that mitigates potential conflicts of interest, and fosters open debate of issues on which consensus has yet to be reached. These mechanisms have been recognized as key elements in the extraordinary advances of the scientific endeavor over the past half-century.) As we shall see, this has a profound impact on the use of data and databases in the sciences, and especially in the environmental sciences. The creativity of individual researchers is the wellspring from which the whole scientific enterprise flows. Donald E. Stokes observed that "it was the American research universities . . . that converted original scientific research into an economically viable professional career." Yet, most academic scientists choose to work in university research environments not for the salary (they can often make far more in the private sector) but for the intellectual stimulation that comes from scientific analysis, interactions with students and peers, and the freedom to work on problems of their own choosing. Various traditions have sprung up to foster and reward such creativity. Professional recognition ODE. Stokes, 1997, Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation, Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 180 pp. 91

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92 The Privatization of Environmental Data and rewards for scientists (e.g., promotion and tenure in academia, salary increases, continued research support, and professional medals and honors) all derive ultimately from the reputation of the individual scientist among peers. That reputation is based primarily on the evidence contained in published work. Publicationin the etymological sense of "making open to the public" is the primary means by which the evidence is established and the reputation of a scientist is thereby created. Of special value is the initial publication of any important contribution to knowledge, be it in the form of newly acquired data, fresh analysis and interpretation of such data, or innovative theory suggested by the observations. Scholarship is also recognized in other works, such as summaries of existing knowledge in a form that makes it more accessible to one's peers. To achieve peer recognition scientists want their work to be read to the point where they are commonly willing not only to defray the cost of publication through page charges but also to sign over intellectual property rights (and potential profits) to publishers. It is in the interest of scientific authors to facilitate use and re-use of their data and results by peers and to contribute this material to community databases if doing so results in increased recognition.2 Scientific progress depends critically on such practices, because rarely if ever does a major scientific advance proceed from a sudden flash of insight ("Eureka!"), even if that may on occasion appear to be the case. in truth the insight usually derives Tom an entire body of knowledge and a vast catalog of facts that has been assimilated by scientists. This is particularly true of the environmental sciences, in which the object of study is typically complex in the modern mathematical sense and advances proceed through patient analysis and re-analysis of growing volumes of observations, resulting in increasingly reliable models that are ever closer to the observable reality. Because the publication process is so important to science as it is to most creative activities it must be afforded some degree of protection. Good science requires an intellectual property regime that balances individual rights of ownership against public rights of access to and reuse of fundamental data. In science, intellectual property protection is typically provided through copyright, as well as through a strong code of professional ethics, that incorporates the following broad elements: 20f course, in some instances the advancement of science takes precedence over personal recognition. .

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Appendix A . 93 Respect copyright protection by adhering to the limits dictated by the fair use exception (see Appendix B) and by avoiding plagiarism. Acknowledge and document relevant sources of information and prior published work. Adhere carefully and honestly to accepted standards of record keeping and reporting of results. The effectiveness of this mechanism depends on several levels of enforcement: . The implicit social contract between scientists and publishers is enforceable through legal means, primarily by application of copyright law and the fair use doctrine. . Peer pressure exercised in the course of peer review of proposals or articles leads to a loss of professional reputation and associated professional rewards (e.g., for improper attribution of previous results). Egregious misconduct (e.g., plagiarism, data falsification) will normally trigger an investigation by the parent institution or a professional society. Overall, the system appears to operate well, providing both scientists and publishers with adequate protection of their intellectual property rights. The credibility of the scientific process and the knowledge that is ultimately derived is assured by a number of mutually reinforcing activities: . use of accepted standards of evidence and methods of inference based upon established knowledge; peer review prior to publication; independent replication of results; critical examination of published work to distinguish established fact from controversial hypotheses and to expose inconsistencies or ambiguities in current theory or evidence; and the exercise of integrity and good judgment by participating scientists.

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94 The Privatization of Environmental Data The infrastructure of scientific publication and community criticism is particularly important in scientific assessments of the state of knowledge in particular areas. An example is the assessment of global warming, which is carried out every five years by hundreds of scientists from around the world under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Such assessments require that participating scientists (and reviewers) obtain data from a variety of sources, integrate them with other types of data, and use them in ways that were not envisioned when they were collected. The credibility of the results depends on adherence to established scientific practices. Scientists are trained to be skeptical of established dogma, and complete unanimity is thus unlikely. Never- theless, ongoing review of the results and of subsequent work helps establish when a broad consensus exists, when competing theories remain controversial, and when evidence is speculative.