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SADTLER RESEARCH LABORATORIES, INC.,
Philadelphia, Pa., June 30, 1966. Congressman GEORGE MILLER, Chairman, House Committee on Science and Astronautics, House of Representa
tives, Washington, D.C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN MILLER: We at Sadtler Research Laboratories have been scanning Infrared, Ultra Violet, and Nuclear Molecular Resonance Spectra since 1947. Based upon this experience, I should like to make the following statement.
We have been publishing reference Spectra during this nineteen year period. The total number is now over 66,000 spectra. They are used by the leading research laboratories in government, industry and universities in forty-five or more countries. This private enterprise project contains more Standard Reference Spectra than this published by the rest of the world collectively.
The Bureau of Standards is of the opinion that it would be an easy matter to collect other people's spectra and publish them. This is not the case. Whenever we have done this, we have received severe criticisms because the samples used by various laboratories are not always pure, and the Spectrophotometry is not of standard quality. Many research workers have their own unique method of scanning and Spectroscopists cannot use those methods because they are unknown. We, however, have published several papers on our scanning techniques and sample preparations. We have been setting the Standards of the quality of Infrared, UV, NMR, and DTA published spectra for U.S. and foreign research.
Many submit spectra of the same sample which greatly reduces the number of different spectra available.
In 1964 at the Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy in Pittsburgh, we submitted a report on a new technique of preparing Infrared Spectrograms which made 20% or more spectra out of date. This you can see for yourself from the following examples.
The Standard Reference Committee has tended to work on its own without experienced industrial help. As a result, it fosters a project which in many cases is out of date and this has not been satisfactory for the Bureau or for industry committees who have tried this approach. The time involved in collecting spectra of questionable value and duplicity can be more than the rescanning of the spectra would take.
Any spectra or other physical data that would have the Bureau's seal should be of the highest standard of quality. The standard quality would consist of—
a. sample analysed by the Bureau of Standards
e. printed in a Standard format Any lesser procedure would not be worthy of the Bureau's seal and could be greatly misleading to research.
I recommend that the Bureau of Standards preserve the integrity of its name and use of its seal or name only on Standard data when the complete program is done by the Bureau of Standards so that those in research are sure that the samples are pure and there are no errors in the spectra. Should the Bureau not be willing to meet these strict requirements, of which their reputation demands, the work should be left to private enterprise which has handled his job successfully at minimal cost to the Government for nearly twenty years.
Should the Committee desire to discuss this further, I would be glad to meet with the Committee on one day's notice before July 15th or after July 24th. Respectfully submitted.
PHILIP SADTLER, President.
AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION, INC.,
New York, N.Y., August 8, 1966. Mr. PHILIP B. YEAGER, Counsel, Committee on Science and Astronautics, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.O.
DEAR MR. YEAGER: This will supplement my letter to you of July 21st.
We have reviewed the Statement of Purpose for the Act, and the Act itself, and we believe that it serves a worthwhile purpose in facilitating a critical evaluation of scientific data. It will be a large task to undertake and accomplish.
One point in the Bill concerns us: Section 7. In this Section 7, standard reference data is virtually made Federal property not to be used without the permission of the Secretary of Commerce. This seems to be an unnecessarily cumbersome device for the protection and identification of the compiled data. The net result would be that the use of the data may be unduly restricted.
Would it be possible for the Secretary of Commerce to develop a symbol or mark which could be used exactly as is a registered trademark? All data which would be taken from the NBS compilation would have to be identified with such symbol or mark but would not require the permission of the Secretary of Commerce. Thus, all data taken from the NBS compilation would be properly identified and the credit inferred therefrom and its accuracy attested to thereby, but the use of the data would be unhindered. We feel that this is certainly a worthy endeavor. Cordially,
W. R. SARNO, Director, Utilization Bureau.
INSTRUMENT SOCIETY OF AMERICA,
Portland, Oreg., July 22, 1966. Mr. PHILIP B. YEAGER, Counsel, Committee on Science and Astronautics, House of Representatives,
Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. YEAGER: At your invitation, I am pleased to comment on H.R. 15638, a bill to provide for the collection, compilation, critical evaluation, publication and sale of standard reference data.
The objective of the bill to provide for the compilation and positive identification of scientific data which has been validated by a critical review is worthy of full support.
It would appear, however, that paragraph (b) of Section 7 is unduly restrictive in preventing any reproduction of any “data compilation bearing the Standard Reference Data symbol or mark adopted pursuant to section 6 of this Act."
As tables of scientific data are now widely published in college textbooks, technical magazines, scientific papers, manufacturers' literature, technical society journals, and standard scientific reference works not published by the Department of Commerce, the flow of valid technical data could be impeded by a strict enforcement of paragraph (b) of Section 7.
Presumably, the validated data contemplated under the act would be data which would come into general use and the restriction that it could not be reproduced except by written prior authorization of the Secretary of Commerce would place an unnecessary restraint upon the dissemination of technical information.
As this data gathering and validation process would be paid for from tax dollars, and as it has been the custom not to place copyright restrictions on publications so developed in the past, it would appear unwise to make an exception to this broad general policy in this specific case.
On the other hand, the association of the Standard Reference Data symbol with the validated data should be controlled. It appears that this is the purpose of Section 7, paragraph (a). To clarify paragraph (a) of Section 7, the wording should be made more precise, i.e. :
(a) associate the Standard Reference Data symbol or mark adopted pursuant to section 6 of this Act with any data compilation provided for
in this Act. Paragraph (b) of Section 7 should then be eliminated entirely. Very truly yours,
DOUGLAS C. STRAIN, Director, Measurement Standards Instrumentation Division. 178
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA,
Los Alamos, N. Mex., June 30, 1966.
on Science and Astronautics, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. SIR: In response to your request for comments on H.R. 15638 I have the following to say:
The explosive growth of quantitative knowledge in the physical sciences during the past twenty years is revolutionizing technology and thereby all our lives. In some technologies, for instance nuclear reactor design, the demands for evaluated data to be used as input to complex calculations has been so pressing that the quantity and quality of nuclear data has prolifereated tremendously beyond what might have occured under a lesser stimulus. The large volumes of this data and the complex computerized methods of utilizing it have necessitated systematic bibliographic, compilational and evaluational activities to be instituted which have given us a practical foretaste and painful experience in a segment of this problem which can be expected to permeate much of the physical sciences in the forthcoming future.
It is thus timely, if not already somewhat late, to be taking steps on a coordinated national basis which will prepare us for the future utilization of scientific data in a practical and rational way. The Bill H.R. 15638 appears to lay a suitable foundation for this activity.
Many practical problems of great complexity must be overcome and indeed must be continuously worked on to achieve the long-range ends of such a system. It is therefore worthwhile to consider briefly what some of these ends are since unfortunately various expedients will have to be used in the immediate future to get started on the task of catching-up with mountains of data already in exist
It is my belief that in a generation the technological demand for scientific data will be so great both in quantity and rapidity of access that the timehonored system of publication in the printed form will be considered primarily archival. In the past, major users of new scientific data have been the scientists themselves and the conventional publication system was eminently satisfactory, but today even the academic scientists often have urgencies requiring more rapid and complete access to scientific information than through the traditional channels. The future thus clearly points toward computerized methods of data handling in particular for storage, rapid access, rapid revision and insertion and for direct use in many varieties of calculational problems. And thus the need for centralized approaches to a National Reference Data File is easily discernible even including its rather probable future configuration.
The proposal to utilize to the maximum extent those data compilation efforts already existing and to encourage further compilation to be started by experts in the various disciplines is a most desirable starting point. The direction of the National Standard Reference Data System (NSRDS) should however be so oriented that it can exert strong guidance in certain areas. This should be possible because of its central position. For instance, bibliographic work precedes a great deal of present day data compilation; much of this kind of work does not require professional scientists to carry out (although competent scientific direction must exist). At present many different compilations of data in specialized portions of a particular subfield begin with literature searches of precisely the same literature and often by scientists. This wasteful procedure can certainly be rectified to a large extent particularly if centrally guided. Similarly, the problems of converting the data to the appropriate computerized form and the details of the computer systems themselves should be standardized to the greatest extent compatible with the requirements of the system. The Bill and the Plan of Operation of the NSRDS should make it possible for adequate advice to be obtained on such details.