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Archiving Microgravity Flight Data and Samples Committee on Microgravity Research Space Studies Board Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council Notice Membership Foreword Preface Introduction Past Archiving Practices and Changing Needs Current MSAD Archiving Strategy and Methods Recommendations and Guidance for MSAD's Microgravity Data and Sample Archiving Strategy Further Recommendations Appendix: Input Form for the Experiment Data Management Plan

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Harold Liebowitz is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Harold Liebowitz are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by Contract NASW 4627 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. All Rights Reserved. Copies of this report are available from: Space Studies Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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Membership COMMITTEE ON MICROGRAVITY RESEARCH MARTIN E. GLICKSMAN, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Chair ROBERT A. ALTENKIRCH, Washington State University ROBERT J. BAYUZICK, Vanderbilt University GRETCHEN DARLINGTON, Baylor College of Medicine HOWARD M. EINSPAHR, Bristol Myers Squibb Company J. GILBERT KAUFMAN, Jr., The Aluminum Association L. GARY LEAL, University of California, Santa Barbara RONALD E. LOEHMAN, Sandia National Laboratories MARGARET J. LYELL, West Virginia University MORTON B. PANISH, AT&T Bell Laboratories (retired) RONALD F. PROBSTEIN,* Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN D. REBBY, Cornell University JULIAN SZEKELY, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (deceased) FORMAN A. WILLIAMS, University of California, San Diego Staff SANDRA J. GRAHAM,Senior Program Officer VICTORIA P. FRIEDENSEN, Senior Program Assistant SPACE STUDIES BOARD CLAUDE R. CANIZARES, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair JOHN A. ARMSTRONG, IBM Corporation (retired) JOHN P. BAGIAN, Environmental Protection Agency DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado LAWRENCE BOGORAD, Harvard University DONALD E. BROWNLEE, University of Washington JOSEPH A. BURNS,* Cornell University JOHN J. DONEGAN, John Donegan Associates, Inc. ANTHONY W. ENGLAND, University of Michigan DANIEL J. FINK, D.J. Fink Associates, Inc. MARTIN E. GLICKSMAN, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute RONALD GREELEY, Arizona State University BILL GREEN, former member, U.S. House of Representatives HAROLD J. GUY,* University of California at San Diego Medical Group NOEL W. HINNERS, Lockheed Martin Astronautics JANET G. LUHMANN, University of California at Berkeley JOHN H. McELROY, University of Texas at Arlington ROBERTA BALSTAD MILLER, Consortium for International Earth Sciences Information Network BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire MARY JANE OSBORN, University of Connecticut SIMON OSTRACH, Case Western Reserve University CARLE M. PIETERS, Brown University JUDITH PIPHER,* University of Rochester MARCIA J. RIEKE, University of Arizona

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ROLAND W. SCHMITT, Clifton Park, New York JOHN A. SIMPSON, University of Chicago ARTHUR B.C. WALKER, Jr.,* Stanford University ROBERT E. WILLIAMS, Space Telescope Science Institute MARC S. ALLEN, Director *Former member. COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS ROBERT J. HERMANN, United Technologies Corporation, Chair STEPHEN L. ADLER, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton PETER M BANKS, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan SYLVIA T. CEYER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology L. LOUIS HEGEDUS, W.R. Grace and Co. JOHN E. HOPCROFT, Cornell University RHONDA J. HUGHES, Bryn Mawr College SHIRLEY A. JACKSON, Rutgers University KENNETH I. KELLERMANN, National Radio Astronomy Observatory KEN KENNEDY, Rice University THOMAS A. PRINCE, California Institute of Technology JEROME SACKS, National Institute of Statistical Sciences L.E. SCRIVEN, University of Minnesota LEON T. SILVER, California Institute of Technology CHARLES P. SLICHTER, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ALVIN W. TRIVELPIECE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory SHMUEL WINOGRAD, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center CHARLES A. ZRAKET, MITRE Corporation (retired) NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director

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Foreword It is the preeminent role of objective, quantifiable data in scientific inquiry that most distinguishes it from nearly every other human endeavor. Hypotheses not firmly anchored to reproducible data become speculations that soon drift away from the realm of science. While all good experimenters support their deductions and inferences with published tables, plots, diagrams, and photographs, the huge quantities of data collected in a typical investigation generally preclude publication of anything beyond a tiny sampling of the partially digested information. After a short time, access to the original evidence, whether digital records or material samples, becomes impossible. This is particularly unfortunate in the space sciences, because of the cost and complexity of reproducing the original experiment or observation. The easiest solution, to save everything, is clearly impractical and inefficient. The desire to preserve valuable data and samples must be balanced with the cost and difficulty of doing so. Moreover, saving raw records and materials is useless without the tools and recipes required to manipulate and understand them. The community of microgravity researchers, a relative newcomer to space, is now confronting the question of what to preserve and how to preserve it. This report explores the complexities and ambiguities of the issue and describes a set of principles and processes to cope with them. It considers the differing practices of laboratory research and of the older space sciences. The conclusions of this report of the Committee on Microgravity Research and the Space Studies Board provide a sensible and responsible approach to reaping the largest return from the nation's sizable investment in microgravity sciences. Chair Space Studies Board

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Preface In the spring of 1995 officials at NASA's Microgravity Science and Applications Division (MSAD) requested that the Committee on Microgravity Research, a standing committee of the National Research Council's Space Studies Board, provide advice regarding the need for preserving and archiving microgravity data and samples. MSAD asked the committee for guidance on the types of microgravity data and samples requiring archiving; the location and duration for their preservation; the division of responsibilities shared between NASA and microgravity investigators for providing timely archiving of spaceflight results; access to data and samples; and archiving of flight data versus ground-based data. During the course of this study, the committee was briefed extensively by MSAD personnel on MSAD's current archiving strategy and activities. The committee also examined a variety of large data archiving systems that have been developed and managed by other organizations. These systems included the Planetary Data System, the Space Telescope Science Institute database, the Global Change Archives, and the National Materials Property Data Network. Also examined were methodologies for archiving samples as varied as cosmic dust specimens and Antarctic meteorites. In addition, the committee discussed specific issues of microgravity data and sample archiving affecting the constituent scientific communities. Among the previous National Research Council reports on data archiving, the committee took particular note of the following: • Preserving Scientific Data on Our Physical Universe (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1995) examined issues related to the archiving of scientific and technical data in the physical sciences and concluded that among the key criteria for determining what data should be archived are the difficulty and cost of replacing them. • Selected Issues in Space Science Data Management and Computation (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1988), a Space Studies Board report, emphasized that NASA should adopt and implement an explicit data management plan for all spaceflight investigations and should provide sufficient resources for archiving and continued protection of data. The report lays out a number of basic guidelines for archiving. • Networking of Materials Property Data (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1983), a National Materials Advisory Board report, documented the limited amount of archived data on materials and the need for a substantial increase in archiving of materials performance databases as well as for improved means of end-user access via menu-driven software that would help users to search for and understand the data. The study emphasized the importance of careful documentation of the metadata (e.g., materials descriptions, definitions of test variables) associated with materials performance data. • Computer-Aided Materials Selection During Structural Design (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1995), a National Materials Advisory Board report, presented findings that confirm both the need for comprehensive databases covering a wide range of materials science phenomena and the importance of careful planning of the design of the archival databases used to collect the data and systematically store it for retrieval. A number of people who assisted the committee during its preparation of this report deserve special thanks for their contributions: Robert Rhome, Roger Crouch, and Gary Martin of NASA Headquarters; Laura Maynard and Howard Ross of NASA Lewis Research Center; Charles Baugher and Robert Snyder

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of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; J. Gilbert Kaufman of the Aluminum Association; Ray Walker of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics of the University of California at Los Angeles; Lola Olsen of the Global Change Master Directory of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Roger Doxsey of the Space Telescope Science Institute; Judith Allton of Lockheed Martin; Michael Zolensky of the Planetary Institute at NASA Johnson Space Center; and Paul Uhlir and Richard Hart of the National Research Council.

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Introduction The Need for Archiving Experiments are conducted in microgravity primarily to add to our store of scientific knowledge and understanding. Their purpose is to acquire critical data and samples needed to test hypotheses and check specific theoretical predictions, and sometimes, to determine how certain phenomena are altered under a specified set of experimental conditions. As in every field of science, the primary method of archiving experimental data and results from microgravity experiments is through publication of the research in peer-reviewed journals. Experiments performed in a low-gravity environment should not be an exception to this practice, and NASA should continue to encourage its investigators to publish their results. However, it is also the case that today's journals are limited with respect to the amount of data they can publish from any one experiment. This limitation may pose a problem for other scientists interested in the results of experiments performed aboard orbiting spacecraft, because such experiments cannot be easily reproduced, owing in part to the high cost of conducting microgravity experiments, particularly those carried out in the long-duration microgravity environment of a spacecraft. The data and samples arising from such experiments are also costly, especially when compared with their terrestrial counterparts, which can usually be generated at a small fraction of the cost incurred for those returned from space. In addition, access to microgravity is limited through the stringent scheduling restrictions of space launches, making it either difficult or impossible for other scientists to plan repeat experiments and execute them in a timely manner. A recent, informal survey distributed by MSAD to a limited sample of the microgravity user community suggested little demand for a formal process of data and sample archiving. Some of those scientists surveyed felt that traditional journal articles and other bibliographic sources sufficed for their personal archiving needs. However, it was also clear from their replies that some of the respondents were unaware of the opportunities for searching for and accessing data from an active microgravity archive. The dual factors of high cost and limited access to space underscore the need for preserving at least some of the data produced in the course of conducting microgravity experiments. Indeed, an effective strategy for archiving data sets from flight experiments represents a prudent protection of NASA's and the nation's research investment. The justification for archiving data and preserving samples must consider their value, judged by both the cost of reproducing them and their future utility. Such judgments are, of course, subjective and difficult to quantify. Purpose and Scope of This Study To obtain help in evaluating its current strategy for archiving data and samples obtained in microgravity research, NASA's Microgravity Science and Applications Division (MSAD) asked the Space Studies Board's Committee on Microgravity Research for guidance on the following questions: • What data should be archived and where should it be kept? • In what form should the data be maintained (electronic files, photographs, hard copy, samples)? • What should the general format of the database be? • To what extent should it be universally accessible and through what mechanisms? • Should there be a period of time for which principal investigators have proprietary access? If so, how long should proprietary data be stored? • What provisions should be made for data obtained from ground-based experiments? • What should the deadline be for investigators placing their data in the archive?

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• How long should data be saved? How long should data be easily accessible? As a prelude to making recommendations for optimum selection and storage of microgravity data and samples, the committee in this report briefly describes NASA's past archiving practices and outlines MSAD's current archiving strategy. Although the committee found that only a limited number of experiments have thus far been archived, it concluded that the general archiving strategy, characterized by MSAD as minimalist, appears viable. A central focus of attention is the Experiment Data Management Plan (EDMP), MSAD's recently instituted data management and archiving framework for flight experiments. Many of the report's recommendations are aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the EDMP approach, which the committee regards as an appropriate data management method for MSAD. Other recommendations provide guidance on broader issues related to the questions listed above. This report does not address statutory or regulatory records retention requirements.