APPENDIX D Inquiry to Interested Parties on Issues in the Transborder Flow of Scientific Data

Dear Colleague:

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (NAS/ NRC) is undertaking a study to review important issues and trends in the international flow of scientific data, particularly along transborder electronic networks. The study will characterize the technical, legal, economic, and policy issues that have an influence (favorable or negative) on access by the scientific community to scientific data. The scope of the study includes symbolic and substantive textual data as well as numerical data; bibliographic data are only included to the extent that they are related to substantive and numerical data. The study will identify and describe both the positive aspects and the barriers or hindrances that have impacts on research in the natural sciences (physical, astronomical, biological, and geological) and across those disciplines. These will be illustrated by representative examples. Finally, it will identify medium- and long-term trends likely to have significant discipline-specific and interdisciplinary influence on the access to and use of scientific data, particularly in electronic forms, and, where appropriate, suggest approaches that could help overcome barriers and hindrances in the international context.

The attached "Inquiry to Interested Parties" is a tool to help us identify significant issues and provide important information to us from the viewpoints of data users and suppliers regarding transborder dissemination of and access to scientific data in the natural sciences from the legal, policy, economic, and technical perspectives. Because of the nature of this inquiry and the means by which it is being distributed (i.e., not a demographically controlled sample), we do not



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--> APPENDIX D Inquiry to Interested Parties on Issues in the Transborder Flow of Scientific Data Dear Colleague: The U.S. National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (NAS/ NRC) is undertaking a study to review important issues and trends in the international flow of scientific data, particularly along transborder electronic networks. The study will characterize the technical, legal, economic, and policy issues that have an influence (favorable or negative) on access by the scientific community to scientific data. The scope of the study includes symbolic and substantive textual data as well as numerical data; bibliographic data are only included to the extent that they are related to substantive and numerical data. The study will identify and describe both the positive aspects and the barriers or hindrances that have impacts on research in the natural sciences (physical, astronomical, biological, and geological) and across those disciplines. These will be illustrated by representative examples. Finally, it will identify medium- and long-term trends likely to have significant discipline-specific and interdisciplinary influence on the access to and use of scientific data, particularly in electronic forms, and, where appropriate, suggest approaches that could help overcome barriers and hindrances in the international context. The attached "Inquiry to Interested Parties" is a tool to help us identify significant issues and provide important information to us from the viewpoints of data users and suppliers regarding transborder dissemination of and access to scientific data in the natural sciences from the legal, policy, economic, and technical perspectives. Because of the nature of this inquiry and the means by which it is being distributed (i.e., not a demographically controlled sample), we do not

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--> intend it to be a survey base for a statistical study. Rather, we are interested in facts, interpretations, opinions, and real examples that will help us gain insight into the main issues of the study. We also are seeking illustrative material that we can use to communicate the situation to the scientific and governmental establishments. The goal of our study is to help improve access to scientific data and services internationally. We therefore hope that your interests are common with ours, and that you will assist us by providing your views on these issues by taking some time to fill out and return this form. We recognize that not every respondent is likely to be able to comment on every question, and we do not wish to have the specific questions to be a limit on what you wish to inform us about. Therefore, please skip any questions that you do not feel you can address meaningfully, and add any points that you would like for us to know or consider. Feel free to use additional pages or attach other pertinent information if you have more that you wish to say to us. Please send your response and any related documentation by 31 January 1996 to: Paul F. Uhlir Director, U.S. National Committee for CODATA National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 U.S.A. Telephone: (202) 334-3061; Fax: (202) 334-2154 Internet: BITS@NAS.EDU We very much look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, R. Stephen Berry Study Chairman INQUIRY TO INTERESTED PARTIES ON ISSUES IN THE TRANSBORDER FLOW OF SCIENTIFIC DATA Please provide the following information: Name: Address:

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--> Telephone/fax/e-mail (optional): Brief description of your data activities and discipline background: Are you answering this questionnaire as a scientific data: user ( ), producer ( ), distributor ( ), vendor ( ), system manager ( ), network operator ( ), policymaker ( ), or other___________? [Please check all that apply.] 1.   Barriers to Data Access. Some restrictions on access to scientific data frequently are considered necessary to protect various interests as well as the integrity of the data. In your experience, have restrictions on data been a problem? Can you identify any specific impacts or trends? Please explain. 2.   Pricing of Data. If you use data for scientific research, please tell us: (a)   What data sets you have recently used for which you or your institution paid nothing, and in what form did you get these data (e.g., WorldWideWeb, other on-line, CD-ROM, diskette, tape, film, paper, etc.)? (b)   What data have you recently used for which you paid any amount (including the cost of reproduction or communication connectivity); in what form did you get these data, how were you charged (e.g., flat rate, charge per use, etc.), and how much? (c)   What data would you like to use for your research, but consider them too expensive/costly? What is the cost of such data and what is their value (apart from cost)? (d)   For the data listed under (c) above, what arrangements could help make these data available to you? In what form would you like to be able to get these data?

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--> If you supply data for scientific research (and perhaps for other uses), please tell us: (e)   Are you a profit-making enterprise; if not, what is the form and intent of your organization? (f)   What kind of data do you supply that are used by scientific researchers? (g)   Besides scientific researchers, what kind of other users of your data are there, if any? (h)   Do you provide special pricing for research/academic users? If so, what is your pricing policy? (i)   What are the media you use to distribute your data (e.g., paper, film, tapes, diskettes, CD-ROMs, on-line, etc.)? (j)   If you sell or otherwise market your data, what is your perception of the price elasticity and demand for the data you distribute? What changes would you make to your data products and services if demand were to increase?

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--> 3.   Protection of Intellectual Property. (a)   What are the principal legal and technical mechanisms actually used for protecting unauthorized uses of data in your country/institution/ discipline area? (b)   Can you provide any information about how such legal or technical mechanisms are implemented or enforced? What are the positive and negative impacts? 4.   Less Developed Countries. (a)   In your experience, what have been the principal problems associated with transferring data into or out of "less developed countries," including those nations from the former Soviet Union? (b)   What can be done to help alleviate these problems, especially by the international scientific community? 5.   Electronic Networks. (a)   Has the development and growth of the Internet and other electronic networking services affected the way you access or distribute data internationally? Please give specific examples if you can. (b)   How do you think the situation with electronic networks will change in the next 5-10 years or so, and what are the likely impacts to your activities?

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--> 6.   Other Technical Issues. (a)   Besides those associated with electronic networks, what are the most important technical benefits or problems you have experienced in either disseminating or accessing data internationally? (b)   What changes do you anticipate over the next 5-10 years, and what are the likely impacts to your activities? 7.   Scientific Data for Global Problems. (a)   In your view, what is the role of international scientific data for addressing global problems, now and in the future? Please elaborate. (b)   What can be done to enhance the availability or exchange of scientific data to better address these concerns? 8.   Other Issues. Do you have any specific concerns or examples of successes that you believe should be considered in this study? In addition, we would welcome your suggestions for other institutions or individuals to contact with regard to these questions, as well as any references to key documents.    [Note: A summary of the most useful responses will be available on the U.S. National Committee for CODATA Web site at: <http://www.nas.edu/cpsma/codata.htm>

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