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Above all, the "hardware" manufacturers and systems operators must be careful that their demands and practices do not hurt the generation and flow of copyrighted scientific and technical information. They must avoid demands that might cause a sacrifice of human creativity to the convenience of their machines. And they must realize that assaults on copyright protection of literary property in the name of overriding public interest can only invite similar assaults on patent protection of their machines and industrial processes.
When these accommodations in thinking and attitudes have been made on both sides, practical business solutions to the remaining problems must be sought and found. This may not be easy, but certainly it can be done, and done with fairness to all interests. "Be there a will, and wisdom finds a way.”
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Letter from John T. Connor, Secretary of Commerce-
University of California
pany, Wilmington, Delaware..
sylvania.. Letter from Donald F. Drummond, Acting Dean, Eastern Michigan Uni
versity, Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Rochester, Rochester, N.Y..
Company, Wilmington, Delaware..
New York, New York-
of Dentistrv, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -
tion, Princeton, New Jersey ---
of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
of Professional Engineers, Washington, D.C.
of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana --
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -
Association, New York, New York--
mentation Division, Instrument Society of America, Portland, Oregon.Letter from R. F. Taschek, Physics Division Leader, Los Alamos Scientific
Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico---
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE,
Washington, D.C., June 2, 1966. Hon. John W. McCORMACK, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. SPEAKER: There are enclosed herewith four copies of a draft bill to provide for the collection, compilation, critical evaluation, publication, and sale of standard reference data, and four copies each of a statement of purpose and need in support thereof, and a section-by-section analysis.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that enactment of this legislation would be consistent with the Administration's objectives. Sincerely yours,
JOHN T. CONNOR, Secretary of Commerce.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND NEED THE STANDARD REFERENCE DATA ACT
The Federal Council for Science and Technology announced in 1963 a policy that there should be established a National Standard Reference Data System to provide on a national basis critically evaluated data in the physical sciences. The Department of Commerce, through the National Bureau of Standards, established a program to assist in furthering this policy. The basic objective of that action was to make critically evaluated qualitative data on the properties of substances readily available to Federal technical agencies and this country's scientists and engineers.
The proposed legislation is needed in order to provide the legal framework for a program to produce compilations of critically evaluated data on the properties of substances and their interactions, gathered from research reports throughout the world, evaluated by experts, and disseminated to the technical community. Through this legislation the voluntary, and cooperative activities of all those concerned with the reference data program could be fitted into a coherent and comprehensive pattern so as to assure maximum benefit to the entire governmental and non-governmental community. The bill would also authorize the use of a symbol or mark in connection with the term “Standard Reference Data" so that the products of this interagency program can be identified and relied upon by the scientific, engineering and industrial communities.
Compilations carried out other than by the National Bureau of Standards may become a part of the Standard Reference Data System through the volun. tary efforts of the agencies and if they meet the standards prescribed by the Secretary of Commerce through the National Bureau of Standards. Through this voluntary cooperative arrangement and the activities of the National Bureau of Standards, it will be possible to provide to the technical community critically evaluated data which will lead to substantial savings in time, effort and money.
NEED FOR STANDARD REFERENCE DATA
The significance of the Standard Reference Data operation can best be understood by a look at the process by which measurements of the properties of substances are made available to scientists and engineers. Property measurements are produced as a result of the research done by millions of scientists and engineers all over the world. The data are published in various scientific journals, reports, handbooks, and so forth. Therefore, while these data are available to anyone who is prepared to search the literature to find them, it is quite often difficult to locate a specific number or value in the millions of pages of scientific
literature. Of equal importance is the fact that once the number or value is located, it is difficult to determine just how reliable such information is. A complicating factor is that often more than one researcher works in the same field, each developing his own number or value for the same property. Only a specialist in the field can tell which is most likely to be correct. Accordingly, the Standard Reference Data System has as its purpose three main functions:
1. Extract the necessary data from the literature;
2. Determine the data's accuracy and reliability through a process of critical evaluation; and
3. Make the evaluated data readily available to users. The data are called "reference" because scientists and engineers repeatedly refer to the data in their work. They are called "standard” because differing values are critically evaluated by the most competent scientists in the field who then select and certify a single value or range of values as the best or "standard" one. The data may then be used with maximum confidence, for rather than having to make independent measurements of physical and chemical characteristics of materials, scientists and engineers would be able to refer to the Standard Reference Data and depend upon the reliability of the measurements which have already been made and critically evaluated.
TECHNICAL SCOPE OF THE STANDARD REFERENCE DATA SYSTEM
The products of the system are compilations of critically evaluated data on the properties of substances, critical reviews of the state of knowledge of the measurable properties of substances, and computations of useful functions derived from properties of substances.
The technical scope of the system embraces only physical and chemical properties and their interactions. Only substances of well-defined composition and structure are considered appropriate, and only intrinsic properties of the substances or systems under consideration are to be included.
These limitations can be described by use of a few examples. The free energy of formation of sodium chloride is a well-defined property of a pure substance of known structure and composition; therefore, numerical data for this property are appropriate. Critically evaluated data of this type are in the compilation entitled “Selected Values of Chemical Thermodynamic Properties” (NBS Circular 500) which is considered to be “Standard Reference Data.” The atomic energy levels of the silicon atom similarly are well defined properties of a well defined substance and such data are appropriate. Critically evaluated data of this type are in the series entitled "Selected Values of Atomic Spectra” (NSRDS-NBS-3); this compilation is also considered to be “Standard Reference Data.” On the other hand, the thermal conductivity of fire brick is a well defined property of a substance of poorly defined composition and structure. Therefore, such data are not within the scope of the Standard Reference Data System. Similarly, the hardness of tool steel is a poorly defined property of a substance of poorly defined composition and structure. Again such data are not within the scope of the program.
Operational data on components, devices, and other manufactured or assembled systems are well outside the scope of activity for the program, as are maps, navigation charts, weather data, and similar information.
THE STANDARD REFERENCE DATA SYSTEM
A. National Bureau of Standards
In assuming leadership for planning and operating a coordinated program of reference data compilations to meet the needs of the scientific and technological community, the responsibilities of the National Bureau of Standards would include the establishment of an interagency mechanism with representation from agencies participating in the Standard Reference Data System in order to obtain guidance in the establishment of policies and priorities; determining, in cooperation with others, the needs for Standard Reference Data and compilations; and maintaining a central registry of reference data compilation activities throughout the United States. Other responsibilities would include consulting with appropriate specialists to establish standards and criteria for the various products of the program; managing the data compilation projects funded directly by the National Bureau of Standards and such other projects financially supported by other agencies as may by mutual agreement be placed under the management of