ply with the guidelines by building on existing agency systems, the majority of comments focused on two aspects of the proposed guidelines: 1. the need to clarify definitions and terms, in particular the meaning of “influential scientific or statistical information” and “capable of being substantially reproduced”; and 2. the need to place limitations on the administrative correction mechanism.
The research community, in particular, expressed concern that the new guidelines might add additional expense for compliance, jeopardize the security of intellectual property, be misused by those who oppose research for any reason, and otherwise weaken the performance of research. Researchers also expressed a desire for a more precise definition of “influential information” in the context of science, as a result of OMB’s interpretation of the statutory language, which went beyond what Congress had stated and included “scientific” in the category of influential information. Following expressions of concern from within the research community and a request made by OMB, The National Academies Science, Technology, and Law (STL) Program established an ad hoc committee to organize and host three workshops at which federal agencies that are subject to the guidelines could share their views and listen to ideas and concerns from other parties. The workshops were not intended to produce recommendations, but to assist agencies in developing their own agency-specific guidelines.
This document provides a brief summary of the key issues raised during the presentations and discussion periods at all three workshops. It does not attempt to summarize the entire three days discussions. Chapter 2 summarizes the workshops held on March 21-22, 2002, which focused on the OMB guidelines prior to issuance of agency-specific guidelines. Chapter 3 summarizes the workshop held on May 30, 2002, which focused on the draft versions of the agencies’ guidelines. The order of presentations has been modified slightly to present a more logical sequence of topics. The transcripts from each workshop can be found at www.nationalacademies.org/stl.