essential elements and then applied to NOAA’s current data management challenge. The challenges faced by NOAA include not only how to be a wise steward of such a broad range of data managed at its three National Data Centers and centers of data, but also how to meet its growing data archive and data access demands with limited resources. The principles and guidelines offered in the chapters that follow are designed to be applicable across the broadest possible range of circumstances, yet with attention to the practical considerations that should always be kept in mind when managing such an important national asset.

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