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1993 Review of the World Data Center-A for Meteorology and the National Climatic Data Center Appendix A: Site Visit Guidelines Pre-review Questions from the CGED QUESTIONS ABOUT ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE What are the goals and objectives of the center? What are its responsibilities? Who provides resources and what is their historical profile? What criteria are used to allocate funding to the center? What is the organizational structure of the center? How does the center report to its upper management? What is the relationship between the organizational structure and the goals and objectives outlined above? What activities are being given priority by the center at the present time? What activities are on hold for various reasons? How are priorities set to keep tasks within resources? What does the center think is the opinion of the user community about itself and its effectiveness? What is the formal relationship between the center and NOAA? QUESTIONS ABOUT USER RELATIONS AND EDUCATION What procedures are used to make potential users aware of the availability of data sets at the center? How does the center educate the user community about its existence and procedures? How does the center poll the opinion of its user community? What are the existing mechanisms for review? What is the center doing to improve user abilities to submit to or acquire data from the center? How does the center obtain information about the types of data, formats of data, models or software tools that the user community expects it to provide?
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1993 Review of the World Data Center-A for Meteorology and the National Climatic Data Center QUESTIONS ABOUT DATA TYPES AND QUANTITY What scientific disciplines is the center obligated to support? What forms of media must the center deal with? What is the extent of the current data inventory by media type, by discipline? What is currently known about probable changes in these numbers? What are the present limits of available storage for different media at the center? Are there procedures in place to enhance the longevity of the archived data? QUESTIONS ABOUT DATA ACQUISITION PROCEDURES What is the center charter responsibility for acquiring data? What rules, priorities and technical considerations govern data acquisition? At what rate and in what quantity does data come? Does the center play an active role in promoting and facilitating the submission of data? What procedure is followed in making a data set a permanent holding of the center? How is documentation, validation and quality control of the submitted data set carried out? How are the data cataloged, described, inventoried? QUESTIONS ABOUT DATA TRANSFORMATIONS What facilities exist for transforming input media to more compact and more accessible storage forms? Are data ever reformatted before storage? What policies govern this activity? What derived data sets are generated by the center? What facilities exist for user requested modifications of data sets prior to delivery?
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1993 Review of the World Data Center-A for Meteorology and the National Climatic Data Center QUESTIONS ABOUT REQUESTS AND DISTRIBUTION How do potential customers contact the center? How are data requests logged and what system is used to assure timely response. What is the number and types of data requests coming to the center? What means are being used to satisfy these requests? Who are the customers (i.e., institutional affiliation, disciplinary affiliation, # of user requests, # of requests per user, etc.). What are the users' costs (or rights when free) for acquiring data? QUESTIONS ABOUT STANDARDS What standards guide the center in various areas? How are these related to what is happening in subdisciplines and industry? How does the center become aware of standards and make choices among conflicting options? What role does the center play in creating standards? What are the current limitations regarding network accessibility and what is planned for the future? How are limited resources (i.e., tempdisks, etc.) allocated? QUESTIONS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY What hardware does the center currently have to support its activities? How adequate is this hardware? What additions are planned? QUESTIONS ABOUT SOFTWARE What software packages and systems does the center routinely use? What is their origin--University, Commercial, NOAA Internal? What software systems form part of the data holdings for dissemination?
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1993 Review of the World Data Center-A for Meteorology and the National Climatic Data Center What is the center doing to improve communication between itself and other centers as well as with users? What does the user community think of the data formats, software standards, software products, provided by the center? What does the center do to reduce duplication of effort in the community with regard to frequently used software modules such as format access, coordinate transformation, time routines? MISCELLANEOUS What does the center expect its role to be in the global change research program? What are the relationships between the center and other international data centers? How can these be strengthened, if necessary? How does the center control costs with respect to user requests? Are charges standardized or are they user (uses) dependent? Are any of the center services contracted out to private industry or to universities? What are the 5-year plans in each of the area addresses by the review questions?
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