Although the principles are numbered for convenience, all nine should be regarded as equally important for effective environmental data management. The explanations that follow include key guidelines that explain how these principles could and should be applied to improve the effectiveness, reliability, and utility of NOAA’s data management activities. The numbers in brackets indicate the chapter(s) of the report where each principle is discussed.
PRINCIPLE #1: Environmental data should be archived and made accessible. [3, 5, 6]
In the view of this committee and many other groups, full and open access to data should be a fundamental tenet at all US federal agencies, including NOAA. The environmental data1 collected by NOAA and its partners constitute an invaluable resource that should be securely archived and made broadly accessible so that a diverse group of users can conduct the analyses and generate the products necessary to describe, understand, and predict changes in the Earth’s environment. Although it is impossible to save everything, the goal of NOAA’s data management enterprise should be to ensure that the broadest possible collection of environmental data is archived and made discoverable and accessible to