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Summaries of Presentations on International Perspectives

The perspectives of five international organizations—the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Council for Science (ICSU), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Inter-Academy Panel on International Issues (IAP), and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA)—were presented at the workshop. These presentations, summarized below, were focused on activities that are either under way or recently completed by these organizations in the areas relating to the preservation of and open access to public scientific data and information. The chapter concludes with brief overviews of the Chinese and U.S. National Committees for CODATA.

TRENDS IN DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC DATA AND INFORMATION1

The commitment of UNESCO2 to the essential good of the free flow of information and access to knowledge sources is inspired by its Constitution, which states that “the wide diffusion of culture, and the education of

1

Based on a presentation by Yasuyuki Aoshima, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/usnc-codata/Aoshima_Presentation.ppt.

2

For more information about UNESCO’s many activities see http://www.unesco.org.



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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop 3 Summaries of Presentations on International Perspectives The perspectives of five international organizations—the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Council for Science (ICSU), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Inter-Academy Panel on International Issues (IAP), and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA)—were presented at the workshop. These presentations, summarized below, were focused on activities that are either under way or recently completed by these organizations in the areas relating to the preservation of and open access to public scientific data and information. The chapter concludes with brief overviews of the Chinese and U.S. National Committees for CODATA. TRENDS IN DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC DATA AND INFORMATION1 The commitment of UNESCO2 to the essential good of the free flow of information and access to knowledge sources is inspired by its Constitution, which states that “the wide diffusion of culture, and the education of 1 Based on a presentation by Yasuyuki Aoshima, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/usnc-codata/Aoshima_Presentation.ppt. 2 For more information about UNESCO’s many activities see http://www.unesco.org.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop humanity for justice and liberty and peace are indispensable to the dignity of man and constitute a sacred duty which all the nations must fulfill in a spirit of mutual assistance and concern.” For several years, various Resolutions of the UNESCO General Conference and the Executive Board have urged member states and associate members to promote free and universal access to public domain information for the purpose of education, science, and culture. As a result, UNESCO has taken several proactive measures in order to encourage member states to establish a right of universal access to information and formulate policies and regulatory frameworks, which would determine the future orientations of the information society. After an extensive round of negotiations, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted at its 32nd session in October 2003 the Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace. The Recommendation recognizes the importance of promoting equitable access to information and knowledge, especially in the public domain, and reiterates UNESCO’s conviction that the organization should have a leading role in encouraging access to information for all, supporting multilingualism and cultural diversity on the global information networks. The Recommendation proposes a number of specific measures fostering universal access to digital resources and services, and facilitating the preservation of their cultural and language diversity. UNESCO thereby encourages its member states to support equitable and affordable access to information and to promote the development of a multicultural information society. The current evolution towards knowledge societies through an increased use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) facilitates the movement and handling of data as well as the process of generating and validating information and knowledge. Thus, the various aspects of access to scientific data and information in the digital world, including the very important questions concerning intellectual property rights, will continue to attract attention. Public-domain information, which is free of copyright and other intellectual property rights, often is not sufficiently well known to potential contributors and users. In some countries, there are growing restrictions on the availability and use of public data and information. The public-domain principle also can be extended conceptually by the adoption of “open access” to information, which is made freely and openly available by its rights holders. One example of open access is the open-source software license, by

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop which computer programs are distributed free of charge by their authors for exploitation and further development. Another is the documentation produced and made available free of charge by the United Nations and its specialized agencies, as well as public data and official information produced and voluntarily made available by governments. A significant aspect of the Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace is the promotion of the social and cultural dimensions of universal access and the equitable balance between the interests of rights holders and the public interest. It is a major challenge for all those involved in the expansion of the emerging information society to contribute to maintaining a balance between copyright protection and access to information in the public domain. International copyright systems have been changed over time to adjust to the new digitally networked environment. In this sense, adopting coherent national legislative measures and ensuring international harmonization among countries is essential to avoid potential conflicts of interests in an increasingly globalized world. Through the adopted Recommendation UNESCO recognizes the importance of an equitable balance between the interests of rightsholders and those of users when valuable works and performances are exploited in the digital environment in the fields of education, science, and culture. As one specific follow-up to the Recommendation, UNESCO published in 2004 policy guidelines regarding governmental public-domain information3 in order to advise countries on policies for the development and promotion of such information, taking account of both national needs and international practices. These guidelines serve as an advisory tool for governments. They emphasize the importance of governmental public-domain information, which contributes to economic and social development, promotes democratic ideals through greater transparency of governance, enhances public health and safety, and serves essential scientific and technical research functions. The guidelines also encourage governments to define the scope of available governmental public-domain information according to national needs, adopt a “Freedom of Information” law, and 3 See Policy Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Governmental Public Domain Information prepared by Paul F. Uhlir. 2004. Paris: UNESCO, available at: http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=15863&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop develop and implement a comprehensive Governmental Public Information Policy Framework. Freedom of expression and freedom of opinion, as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,4 are essential premises of the information society. In building such a society, the ability for all to access and produce information, and generate ideas and knowledge is indispensable. Scientific research leads to the development of new technologies and to the production of data and information that can benefit society as a whole. While some countries are leading or keeping up with scientific and technical progress and with the digital information revolution, developing countries have to make huge efforts to gain access to the necessary infrastructure and to take full advantage of ICTs. It is indeed paradoxical that if ICTs facilitate communication from the global to the local levels and vice versa, they can also broaden the digital gap between those who participate in the information society and benefit from it and those who cannot. The impact of ICTs in the production, use, and dissemination of scientific knowledge is immense. There are many opportunities to bridge the science gap, for example by improving networking among scientists locally and internationally, and by providing scientific information and knowledge to decision makers for better governance. Moreover, ICTs are central to scientific research itself. They enable scientists to perform fundamental and applied research, build partnerships and scientific international consortia, conduct experiments, manage data, coordinate laboratory activities, and communicate their findings to their colleagues and the public. Based on the assumption that scientific knowledge produced through public investments is a “public good,” scientific data and information should be as widely available and affordable as possible, since the more people that are able to share such information, the greater the positive effects and returns will be for society. The importance of scientific data to society therefore should be described clearly since all areas of research now require availability of high-quality data for their progress. Finally, in light of all these developments, the sustainable, long-term preservation of digital data and information is a very important concern. For several years now, specialized agencies and organizations of the United 4 See http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop Nations have highlighted the fact that despite the growing efforts of the various stakeholders involved in generating, organizing, and providing access to digital scientific data and information, these resources are still at risk of being lost to future generations. The issue of digital archiving is thus essentially a matter of scientific and public policy, which should be of concern to decision makers. TOWARDS INTERNATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA FROM PUBLIC FUNDING5 The ever increasing use of information communication technologies is bringing dramatic changes to the way our global science system operates. Digitization has become an essential part of the scientific process and the management of research. Yesterday’s scientists studied nature. Today’s scientists study digital data—digital data on nature to be sure. Sir Isaac Newton did not need more than a pencil and a pad to process his observational data into ground-breaking scientific laws. But today the next advance in high-energy physics requires a Large Hadron Collider that will produce 12 to 14 petabytes of digital data per year, the full capacity of about 16 million CD ROMs. These data will be analyzed by some 6,000 researchers scattered around the world, but tightly knit by the Grid computer network of our global science system. The use of ICTs has made collections of scientific data in many respects comparable to musical scores: to be used time and again for a diversity of performances by a diversity of artists for different audiences of society. Optimum access to research data should enable researchers from all over the world to compose the full score for our knowledge-based international society. Consequently, access to the gold mine of research data quickly has become a major issue in international science policy and research management. The traditional exchange arrangements between scientific colleagues no longer suffice to guarantee the necessary openness of access to digital data resources. Optimum access requires formal agreements on the conditions of access at both the national and international levels. The main task of establishing an adequate regulatory framework lies within the re- 5 Based on a presentation by Peter Schröder, Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, The Netherlands, available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/usnc-codata/Schroder_Presentation.pdf.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop search community—at the national research councils, scientific institutes, universities, and funding agencies. The general principles to build data access regimes should be a responsibility of governments, however. Considering the international dimensions of the scientific effort in general and of access to data in particular, national data access policy regimes will only work when closely connected to international agreements. At the ministerial-level meeting of the OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy on January 30, 2004, the ministers responsible for science policy endorsed the “Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding,”6 including a draft set of principles and the recommendation that OECD should develop these principles into more detailed guidelines. The Declaration is an important step towards further international scientific cooperation. The guidelines will address the technical, institutional, financial, legal, and cultural aspects of data access regimes. The basic premise of the guidelines will be open access to and unrestricted use of publicly funded research data, subject only to legitimate restrictions. At least nine areas will be addressed in the guidelines: transparency, formal responsibility, professionalism, protection of intellectual property, legal conformity, interoperability, quality, efficiency, and accountability. In short, new governmental science policies on data access and new data policies of research funding organizations will influence the future course of international research practices. The development of international approaches to data access holds the promise of opening up exciting new dimensions of international scientific cooperation. INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON DATA AND INFORMATION FOR SCIENCE7 The mission of ICSU is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. One of the key principles that underpins this mission is the “Universality of Science”; that is, all scientists should have the possibility to participate, without discrimination and on an equitable basis, in legitimate scientific activities whether they be conducted in a national, trans- 6 See http://www.codataweb.org/UNESCOmtg/dryden-declaration.pdf. 7 Based on a presentation by Carthage Smith, International Council for Science, available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/usnc-codata/CarthageSmithPresentation.ppt.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop national, or international context. Scientific data and information are the input and product of scientific research, and the practices and policies that dictate their use must reinforce the universality of science. In so doing they will improve science for the benefit of everyone. Since its inception, ICSU, whose membership includes both international disciplinary science Unions and national interdisciplinary science bodies, has been involved in scientific data and information issues. A particular focus has been on the international and interdisciplinary issues relating to data production, management, and access. When ICSU was established in 1932, the challenges were very different than they are today. While data exchange was logistically more difficult and much slower in 1932, it is paradoxical that the incredible advances in information and communication technologies that have taken place in the last decade have also, in many ways, made the exchange of data much more complex. In order to address the key management and policy challenges, ICSU has established a number of specific interdisciplinary bodies for data and information, including CODATA, a co-organizer of this workshop, and the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications, also represented at the meeting. Moreover, ICSU has developed the major international research programs on global environmental change and is currently planning large new scientific initiatives, such as the International Polar Year (2007-2008), which produce, collect, analyze, and disseminate large amounts of diverse scientific data from and for many sources around the world. With regard to data policy, ICSU is a strong advocate of “full and open access”8 to scientific data and “universal and equitable access”9 to scientific publications. ICSU also has been very actively involved with CODATA, UNESCO, and other international science partners in the two phases of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). On behalf of the international science community, these groups argued 8 ICSU defines “full and open access” to data as equitable, nondiscriminatory access to all data that are of value to science. It does not necessarily equate to “free of cost” at the point of delivery, although this is certainly the ideal in many situations, particularly with regard to publicly funded data that are made available online. 9 ICSU defines “universal and equitable access” to scientific publications as ensuring equal opportunities both to publish and to obtain scientific information for all scientists wherever they are located. It does not necessarily imply without any cost at the point of delivery.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop very strongly for recognition of the critical role and needs of science in the information society. In particular, an agenda for action—Science in the Information Society10—was developed by ICSU and its partners. It highlighted the key issues relating to preservation of and access to scientific data and information. This agenda was very influential because its main recommendations were incorporated into the formal documents that were agreed by Heads of State at the end of phase I of WSIS, which was held in Geneva in December 2003. In light of the rapidly changing international scientific (and political) landscape and in parallel to WSIS, ICSU recently completed a Priority Area Assessment of the international needs for scientific data and information11—production, management, access, and dissemination. The report addresses many of the future challenges related to data preservation and access and identifies clear actions for ICSU, the scientific community, policy makers, funders, and other stakeholders. Many of the existing practices, mechanisms, structures, and policies relating to scientific data and information need to be updated and improved if the optimum benefit from data and information is to be obtained for both science and society. The Priority Area Assessment report also identifies a number of priorities and needs in the area of scientific data and information, including long-term strategic planning and investment, professional data management, and modernization of current infrastructure and systems, as well as new infrastructure in some areas. It also underscores the need for international cooperation and supportive data and information policies at the national and international levels. In the area of data preservation, the report recommends that there must be a prioritization of what data to preserve. Other areas of importance are data rescue and recovery and the need for “openly available” metadata. The report also identifies long-term support for archiving and considerations regarding data integrity and data privacy as essential requirements for effective data preservation. 10 See http://www.icsu.org for the full agenda for action and details of other ICSU publications and activities relating to the WSIS. 11 International Council for Science. 2004. ICSU Report of the CSPR Assessment Panel on Scientific Data and Information. The background description, terms of reference, final report, and panel membership for the ICSU Priority Area Assessment on Scientific Data and Information can be obtained from http://www.icsu.org/1_icsuinscience/DATA_Paa_1.html/.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop The ICSU Priority Area Assessment defines access in two ways: (1) to provide data and information and publish them, and (2) to be able to use and read the data and information. Minimal constraints on access should be maintained. The report recommends the development of stable systems for providing universal access to quality data and information. New economic models for providing access to scientific, technical, and medical literature need to be developed. Scientists also should become more involved in the development of policies, such as intellectual property rights, that affect access. Finally, the interests and needs of scientists in developing countries must be considered and addressed. INTER-ACADEMY PANEL INITIATIVES ON PROMOTING ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION12 The IAP is a global network of over 90 Academies of Science designed to promote their greater participation in science policy discussions as well as policies that strengthen scientific institutions. Toward that end, the IAP creates partnerships among its member institutions and works closely with other scientific organizations. The IAP is governed by an Executive Committee with a rotating membership of 11 member Academies and two co-chairs. In 2003-2006, the co-chairs are Professor Zhu Chen of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Professor Yves Quéré of the French Académie des Sciences. The Third World Academy of Sciences and ICSU are also ex officio members. Since its inception, the IAP has issued statements on population growth (1994), urban development (1996), sustainability (2000), human reproductive cloning (2003), science education (2003), health of mothers and children (2003), scientific capacity building (2003), science and the media (2003), and access to scientific information (2003).13 The IAP also organizes its activities according to major programs and shorter, more focused initiatives. Currently, its programs are in the areas of capacity building for Academies, science education, health education for women, and water. It also has three initiatives focused on biosecurity, genetically modified organisms, and access to scientific information. 12 Based on a presentation by Michael Clegg, foreign secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/usnc-codata/MichaelCleggPresentation.ppt. 13 For more information on the Inter-Academy Panel, see http://www4.nationalacademies.org/iap/iapGA.nsf/.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop Because of the importance of the issue of improving access to scientific data and information as a matter of science policy at the national and international levels, the IAP issued a policy statement on this topic in December 2003.14 The IAP Statement on Access to Scientific Information focuses on access to numerical scientific data, databases, and scientific literature. It also attempts to address the high cost of scientific journal subscriptions. The statement recommends that: Electronic access to journal content be made available worldwide without cost as soon as possible, within one year or less of publication for scientists in industrialized nations, and immediately upon publication for scientists in developing countries; Journal content and, to the extent possible, data upon which research is based be prepared and presented in a standard format for electronic distribution to facilitate ease of use; Journal content be archived collectively, either by private or government organizations; Governments and publishers work together to raise awareness in the scientific community of the availability of free electronic access to scientific journals; and Scientific databases obtained by intergovernmental organizations be made available without cost or restrictions on reuse. As noted above, the IAP also has launched a new initiative under the leadership of the U.S., Chinese, and Senegalese Academies of Science on access to scientific information in developing countries. The IAP will convene a meeting of interested members to define this new initiative.15 In addition, it may also develop positions on subcategories of the broad topic of information access including electronic access, access to databases, responsibilities of the publishing industry, public-sector responsibilities, and the information communication technologies infrastructure supporting access to data and information. 14 See the Inter-Academy Panel on International Issues. 2003. An IAP Statement on Access to Scientific Information, Mexico City, December 4. http://www4.nationalacademies.org/iap/iaphome.nsf/weblinks/WWWW-5U6HHG?OpenDocument. 15 Since this workshop, the IAP convened two related meetings in Paris in November 2004 and in Dakar, Senegal, in January 2006.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop FUTURE ROLE OF THE COMMITTEE ON DATA FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY16 CODATA17 is an interdisciplinary committee of ICSU concerned with various types of quantitative data resulting from experimental measurements or observations in the natural and social sciences, and the engineering disciplines. Particular emphasis is given to data management problems common to different scientific fields and to data sharing among these disciplines. CODATA’s objectives focus on: Improving the quality and accessibility of data, as well as the methods by which data are acquired, managed, and analyzed; Facilitating international cooperation among those collecting, organizing, and using data; Promoting an increased awareness in the scientific and technical community of the importance of these activities; and Considering data access and intellectual property issues. In addition to traditional activities such as meetings, workshops, and publishing, CODATA is now working to enhance such international activities by (1) promoting project-oriented approaches to highlight models to follow up on fruitful ideas; (2) articulating issues in global access to scientific and technical data through intensive commitments to global and societal activities, such as the WSIS; and (3) expanding human dimensions to enhance data flows beyond borders, disciplines, organizations, and generations. CODATA has identified data preservation and data access as priority mandates. There is a diverse portfolio of activities focused on the preservation of scientific and technical data, primarily through the work of its Task Group on Preservation of and Access to Scientific and Technical Data in Developing Countries. The Task Group has been working to identify the scientific, technical, management, and policy issues related to the preservation of scientific and technical data, and the Task Group members have compiled a comprehensive, annotated bibliography of archiving resources. 16 Based on a presentation by Shuichi Iwata, University of Tokyo, Japan, and President, CODATA, available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/usnc-codata/Iwata_6_Presentation.ppt. 17 For more information, see http://www.codata.org/.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop They also have initiated a series of international, interdisciplinary workshops, including this workshop, to highlight the importance of permanent access to scientific information resources, and to examine the policy and legal, management and technical, and institutional and economic issues that are important to providing permanent access to digital scientific data. Finally, CODATA, along with the Task Group, has worked with the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) to create an online portal of resources related to the Permanent Access of Scientific Data and Information.18 In the area of access to scientific data, CODATA has worked closely with ICSU as well to provide an international voice in support of “full and open” access to scientific and technical data as new legislative and treaty regimes have been considered and implemented. Between 1997 and 2003 the joint ad hoc ICSU-CODATA Working Group on Data and Information monitored the implementation of the European Union Database Directive in Europe, and participated as an official “Observer” in the discussions of a potential new database treaty at meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The ICSU-CODATA White Paper on Data Access (1997)19 was a major defining document on this subject from the scientific community perspective at the WIPO. A workshop involving representatives from the U.S. and European Academies of Sciences and data law experts was held in conjunction with the 2000 CODATA Conference in Baveno and Stresa, Italy. Several sessions on these issues were convened during the 2002 CODATA Conference in Montreal as well. Finally, CODATA, in collaboration with the U.S. National Committee for CODATA, ICSTI, ICSU, and UNESCO, organized a major international symposium on open access and the public domain in digital data and information for science in March 2003. This activity also helped to identify and analyze important issues for follow-up by the ICSU family of organizations and for the development of an Action Plan in this area by ICSU and UNESCO in preparation for the WSIS. The first phase of WSIS was held in Geneva in December 2003, and the second was held in Tunis in November 2005. CODATA discussed WSIS at its General Assembly in 18 See http://www.nap.edu/shelves/data for the CODATA/ICSTI Portal on Permanent Access to Scientific Data and Information. 19 See Access to Databases: Principles for Science in the Internet Era at http://www.codata.org/codata/data_access/principles.html.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop Berlin in 2004. CODATA will continue to highlight the role of science in the information society in preparations for the Tunis phase of the Summit. The resulting documents from this process are expected to create solutions on “digital divide issues” based on the individual care principle with respect to the institutional, legal, ethical, emotional, and cognitive aspects of data. CHINA’S NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR CODATA20 China joined CODATA in 1984, with the Chinese Academy of Sciences serving as the national member organization. Since then, the Chinese National Committee for CODATA21 has made efforts to promote China’s scientific and technical data activities through its executive body—the Secretariat located at the Computer Network Information Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The mission of the Chinese National Committee for CODATA is to facilitate construction of scientific databases in China and to promote interdisciplinary and international exchanges, cooperation, and data sharing. The committee’s main activities are to: Investigate the domestic data activities and trends for establishing scientific and technical databases; Convene an annual general assembly of the Chinese National Committee for CODATA, with the purpose of discussing its activities, providing an overview of the on-going tasks of its data groups, and updating the community on the academic achievements of CODATA; Promote domestic scientific and technical information resources to make more efficient use of scientific and technical data; Organize domestic working groups and relevant meetings within different academic spheres; and Initiate and organize the implementation of programs on scientific database construction and data sharing. 20 Based on a presentation by Zhihong Xu, representative of the Chinese National Committee for CODATA, China, available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/usnc-codata/XuZhihong_Presentation.ppt. 21 See http://www.codata.cn for more information.

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Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop U.S. NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR CODATA22 The U.S. National Committee (USNC) for CODATA23 provides a bridge between the scientific and technical community in the United States and the international CODATA on data issues. The USNC operates within the National Research Council’s Board on International Scientific Organizations and is the principal organizational entity within that Board’s Office of International Scientific and Technical Information Programs. The USNC undertakes special studies and activities, counsels the U.S. National Delegate to CODATA on the U.S. position regarding official CODATA business, and provides a link between U.S. and international data compilation and evaluation activities, taking into account the needs of the scientific and technical user community. Finally, the USNC works closely with the international CODATA on permanent access to scientific and technical data. It is a co-organizer of the aforementioned series of workshops relating to permanent access to scientific and technical data, including this one. 22 Based on a presentation by Paul F. Uhlir, director of the U.S. National Committee for CODATA at the U.S. National Academies. 23 See http://www7.nationalacademies.org/usnc-codata/.