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AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING AND MATERIALS,

Philadelphia, Pa., July 14, 1966. Hon. EMILIO Q. DADDARIO, Chairman, Subcommittee on Science Research and Development, House of Repre

sentatives, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. DADDARIO : The chairman and some of the members of our Special Committee on Numerical Reference Data as well as other members of our Society have carefully reviewed HR 15638 which you sent to me for comment. The following are our comments on both the concept of a national data system and the method of carrying out the concept which is proposed in HR 15638.

The scientific and engineering community has great need for readily available and reliable data on the properties of materials, and the American Society for Testing and Materials heartily approves a congressional policy of providing or arranging for the collection, compilation, critical evaluation, publication, and dissemination of Standard Reference Data. There should be a long-range program which receives financial support on a continuing basis.

In our opinion, H.R. 15638 is in general a good implementation of this desirable policy. However, there are two provisions of this bill that should be given serious consideration, because they should be made consistent with policies in much larger fields than that covered by the bill. First, the sections of the bill establishing a trademark for these data publications should be consistent with policies which will be adopted as a result of the investigations which are now in progress by the legislative and judicial branches of the government. Second, the pricing policy proposed in this bill seems businesslike and very desirable, but it should be consistent with pricing policies for all similar publications published by technical, scientific and professional groups and should reflect not only the direct costs of printing and binding but the cost of collection, compilation, evaluation, publication or dissemination of such data, including indirect administrative expenses.

This would reduce the cost to government. We believe every effort should be made to make publication as nearly self supporting as practicable. We believe the important role of government is in stimulating and supporting the collection of such data for the general benefit.

We appreciate your inviting us to comment on this most important bill. If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to call on us. Sincerely yours,

T. A. MARSHALL, Jr.,
Executive Secretary.

MOBIL OIL CORP.,

Princeton, N.J., June 30, 1966. Hon. EMILIO Q. DADDARIO, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

Sir: Thank you for your letter of June 20, 1966, giving me an opportunity to comment on H.R. 15638, an Administration bill to provide for the collection, compilation, critical evaluation, publication, and sale of Standard Reference Data. I have been familiar with the Standard Reference Data program of the National Bureau of Standards since its inception, and I was convinced of the need for such a program long before it actually developed. It is gratifying to see that the intent of H.R. 15638 clearly is to provide the support and implementation that the Standard Reference Data program has lacked heretofore. Therefore, I am writing, as an individual, in support of that bill.

Numerical data on the physical and chemical properties of substances are among the indispensible tools of the scientist and engineer, whether he be concerned with fundamental research that extends the boundaries of scientific knowledge, with applied ressearch and development of new products and processes, or with design, construction, and operation of commercial plants. However, every practicing scientist and engineer continually faced with the problems not only of locating needed data in the voluminous technical literature, but also of evaluating the quality of whatever data he may be successful in finding. The Standard Reference Data program of NBS is a well planned approach to solving these problems by providing a mechanism for systematic collection of numerical data now available in the literature, critical evaluation of such data by experts, and wide dissemination of critically evaluated data in a form easy to locate and use. Such a program can be of immense value in all scientific and technological activities within this Nation, and it is clearly appropriate that the Federal Government support and lead this much needed undertaking.

I have no comments of substance on the language and provisions of H.R. 15638 itself. However, I note that the statement of purpose and analysis documents attached to your letter do not stress adequately the importance of participation by nongovernmenal organizations, which is provided for in Section 3 of the bill. I am sure that this program cannot be conducted efficiently and economically without the cooperation of the many other organizations that already are interested and active in this field. For example, the American Petroleum Institute Research Project 44 now prepares and publishes tables on “Selected Values of Physical and Thermodynamic Properties of Hydrocarbons and Related Substances," which I consider to be a prime example of “Standard Reference Data.” I also suggest that the Subcommittee consider and take recognition of the fact that cooperation with similar undertakings in other countries of the world is both desirable and necessary. I believe that officials of the National Bureau of Standards agree with this point of view about the need for broad national and international cooperation, so perhaps H.R. 15638 should more forcefully endorse such cooperation.

It is a pleasure to recommend favorable consideration of H.R. 15638 by your Subcommittee on Science, Research and Development and by the Committee on Science and Astronautics. Very truly yours,

JOHN P. McCULLOUGH. 166

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN,

Ann Arbor, Mich., July 11, 1966. Hon. WESTON E. VIVIAN, Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C.

DEAR WES : Thank you for your letters of June 28 and 30, informing me about the hearings on the bill H.R. 15638, which is to provide authorization to the Department of Commerce to collect and make available technical reference data. I found myself not well informed on this subject and I am discussing it with a number of members of our faculty. I gather that the bill has become controversial, even though the desirability of having standard reference data readily available is surely not questioned. In the past, as you know, professional societies have often assumed leadership in providing this service to scientists and engineers. I am sure that I should not ask for an opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee, even if arrangements are made for additional hearings. But if it appears that there is some unanimity in what might be considered a position appropriate to University scientists, I will prepare a statement for the record.

I appreciate your interest in bringing this matter to my attention and to the attention of others in the University and Ann Arbor community. Yours sincerely,

A. G. NORMAN,
Vice-President for Research.

167

RICE UNIVERSITY,

Houston, Tex., July 12, 1966. Congressman EMILIO Q. DADDARIO, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN DADDARIO: I am sorry that your letter of June 20 came just as I was leaving for England for a trip on behalf, in part, of the President's Science Advisory Committee. I did not return in time to get a letter in your hands before the July 8 deadline which you specified.

I believe that the collection, compilation, critical evaluation and publication of standard reference data is a very important function, and one in which the National Bureau of Standards should play a very important role. I hope that my failure to present these remarks to you within the time period indicated will not have jeopardized legislation giving appropriate support for this function.

If I can be of any further assistance to you in this connection, please do not hesitate to call on me. Yours very sincerely,

KENNETH S. PITZER, President. 168

NATIONAL SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS,

Washington, D.C., July 15, 1966. Hon. EMILIO Q. DADDARIO, Chairman, Subcommittee on Science, Research and Development, Committee

on Science and Astronautics, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: In accordance with Mr. Miller's letter of July 1st, we are pleased to submit for the record the enclosed statement expressing the views of the National Society of Professional Engineers on H.R. 15638, a bill to provide for the collection, compilation, critical evaluation, publication, and sale of standard reference data.

This statement has been prepared after careful analysis of this legislation by our Legislative and Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Donald E. Marlowe, P.E., Dean of the School of Engineering and Architecture at Catholic University.

We feel fortunate indeed in having had Dean Marlowe's counsel and guidance in this matter, particularly in view of his outstanding record of experience and achievement in both academic and government circles. Sincerely yours,

PAUL H. ROBBINS, P.E.,

Executive Director.

STATEMENT OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS ON

H.R. 15638

The National Society of Professional Engineers appreciates the opportunity to submit a statement for the record on H.R. 15638, a bill to provide for the collection, compilation, critical evaluation, publication, and sale of standard reference data by the Department of Commerce.

We support the concept of a National Standard Reference Data System, and understand that such a system has been established in the National Bureau of Standards since 1963. If, however, after its study of this subject the subcommittee feels that separate legislation authorizing the establishment of this service is required, we heartily endorse enactment of such legislation.

Several aspects of H.R. 15638 do trouble us :

1. We feel that the concept embodied in Sections 6 and 7 of the bill is undesirable. The adoption of a Standard Reference Data symbol by the federal government, and its use as an imprimateur, seems contrary to scientific tradition. The acceptability of technical data depends upon the reputation of the compiler in the technological world, not upon a Government Seal. Activity in this area cannot be equated with grading meat.

2. Traditionally, the cost of obtaining technical data and evaluating it has been kept separate from the cost of publishing it, resulting in the availability of data at relatively low cost. The social gain obtainable from wide dissemination of critical data (standard data) is felt to be sufficient to sustain this principal of operation. The concept of Section 5 of H.R. 15638, which would have "user charges” reflect the total costs of the program, seems undesirable.

3. We have had in this country a long-standing policy of refusing to copyright government publications. The basic principle underlying this policy was reflected quite recently in the “Freedom of Information” bill enacted by the Congress. If, as indicated in Dr. Astin's testimony before the subcommittee, estimated sales under the proposed SRD "copyright” system will only cover a “not large” portion of the costs, such returns do not seem sufficient to justify violation of this long-standing policy.

4. Adoption of government "copyrighting” as contemplated in H.R. 15638 would involve the same thorny questions of dry-copying, computer printout, television transmission, etc., which are now being considered by the Congress

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