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4. Publishers can print from reproducibles obtained from N.B.S. and sell books at a competitive price. (Each publisher to publish in whatever form his customers prefer. That is, all in one volume or in separates according to data desired by customers. Paper covers, hard bindings, loose leaf, and patent binders are possible forms that may be found desirable.) Publishers may add annotations to the data or include supplementary matter of their own, and copyright their part of the compilation.
The procedure outlined above suggests that GPO may be utilized to the best interests of the Government and the taxpayer; the Bureau of Standards may recover a substantial part of its cost or as much as has not already been contributed by the taxpayer; commercial publishers perform their proper function; and users get the data they need at a reasonable price.
In assessing the testimony of witnesses who participated in the hearings on H.R. 15638 on June 28–30, it cannot be understood how benefit to the Government may be obtained by circumventing pertinent sections of U.S.C., Title 44, referred to in Section 5 of the bill. Sincerely yours,
Vice Chairman. Mr. DADDARIO. This subcommittee will adjourn to the call of the chairman.
(Whereupon, at 12:02 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at the call of the chairman.)
SUMMARY OF TESTIMONY
June 28, 1966. WITNESS: DR. DONALD F. HORNIG, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY A. Highlights of statement
1. It is essential for the efficient conduct of the national research and development program that standard reference data measurements recorded in seientific literature be collected and made available to scientists and engineers.
(a) Failure to find data which the user can trust results in either rerunning experiments, over-design of components, faulty and wasted products, or abandonment of the effort.
(0) Many large industries and government laboratories have for years maintained their own scientific staff to produce compilations of measurement data.
(c) By using compilations, scientists and engineers have ready access to data and save time and effort. 2. In addition to the indicated effort both within and outside of the government, we still need a standard reference data program under the management of the National Bureau of Standards.
(a) No one group has undertaken to assess the total standard reference data needs of the national research and development community and to insure that these needs are being met. In some areas, compilation is inadequate or duplicated.
(b) The methods of making such information readily available have been overtaken by the advance of technology itself—increased complexity and volume of information and use patterns of data-need to up-date data.
(c) The task is to organize disparate efforts and apply modern techniques to an existing activity which is not being done well. 3. Complicating factors to making standard reference data readily available:
(a) Availability of scientists and engineers.
(c) More diverse and frequent use of standard reference data. 4. A closely coordinated program of government and private data collection, evaluation, compilation, and dissemination efforts is needed.
5. Background: In 1963 the NBS was given the responsibility for a governmentwide program, named the Standard Reference Data System, to develop critically evaluated data in the physical sciences and technology and to insure its ready access for the benefit of the scientific and technological community in the United States. To meet their needs, new activities are required of the Department of Commerce and these are provided for in the Standard Reference Data Act.
6. The Standard Reference Data Program is part of the national network of science and technology information systems. B. Highlights of the questioning
1. It is important that the publication of standard reference data be a continuing activity.
2. It is hard to estimate the returns. However, a research program cannot be carried out without this data. Returns have been estimated from 10 to 1 to 100 to 1.
3. Sees nothing in the bill to bar the private sector from participating in this program.
4. Does not think the government would be "guaranteeing” the information, but would be judging it as the most reliable information the best experts have been able to determine.
5. Thinks that as the private sector develops information, there is certain data which they would make available, and there is other data of a proprietary interest which would not be made available and should not be.
6. Thinks that the use of reasonable use charges is one of the best ways of determining the value of services performed. 7. The areas to be dealt with will be determined by two things :
(1) Precise data must be needed by someone.
(2) Data much better than what has already been attained must be needed. 8. The main reason that new legislative authority is required for the standard reference data program is that to make the program viable in terms of future funding, it is important to have the general expression of intent by Congress that this service should be performed.
9. Thinks the user should bear some cost of providing the services.
10. Thinks the effort is to get the widest possible dissemination of data. Thinks the bill provides authority to restrict under some circumstances—such as a compilation of data for one customer.
11. Thinks the word "copying" in 7(b) really should be interpreted as commercial republication.
12. The evaluation will be performed by a spectrum of people engaged-people working in the scientific field all the time and primarily evaluating and people doing more mechanical compilations.
13. The Federal Council was unanimous in believing that the NBS ought to play the central role in setting standards and in coordinating the data gathering activities.
14. At present the SRD Program needs a much bigger and more comprehensive effort. Thinks that as long as there are significant and valuable needs not being met, it's time to pand.
June 29, 1966
WITNESS: DR. J. HERBERT HOLLOMON, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. A. Highlights of statement 1. Brief explanation of why standard reference data are important:
(a) Important in dealing with national problems: space vehicle design, transportation, pollution, corrosion, safety, health, contamination. (b) Problems if standard reference data is not available:
(1) Duplication of work, with no guarantee of greater accuracy. (2) Overdesign to compensate.
(3) Uncertainty and inaccessibility are costly; they waste money, time and manpower. The present lack of a comprehensive, effective standard reference data system costs the Nation hundreds of millions of dollars a year. This is because the work that an integrated, comprehensive system could do is already being done in a piecemeal, uncoordinated, usually less effective manner by every member of the technical community. A standard reference system could return an esti
mated $20-200 for each dollar spent on it. 2. Why we are seeking this legislation to expedite the national program of production and dissemination of standard reference data.
(a) Existing mechanisms for producing critically evaluated compilations have not been able to keep up with the flood of new data appearing in the literature.
(6) Lack of coordination and standardization of numerous data compilations and the high cost of failing to meet the need for a better mechanism to produce critically evaluated date are reasons behind the establishment of the Standard Reference Data System in 1963, to be administered by NBS.
(c) The Standard Reference Data System is considered to be one of the components of a broad national scientific and technical information system now being developed by the Committee on Scientific and Technical Information of the Federal Council for Science and Technology.
(d) During the three years that NBS has served as administrator of the SRDS, a good start has been made. These years have revealed the need for additional authority from Congress to increase effectiveness.
(e) The proposed legislation provides mechanisms for the necessary funding of the program through a combination of Congressional appropriations and user charges.
(f) Penalties for unauthorized publication and sale of compilations bearing the symbol would serve to maintain its integrity as well as to protect
the system of user charges. WITNESS: DR. ALLEN V. Astin, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS A. Highlights of statement
Dealing with the way the NBS plans to implement the proposed legislation.
1. Some time ago, COSATI and the Federal Council for Science and Technology endorsed a policy calling for NBS to assume responsibility for the administration of the standard reference data system.
2. The goal of SRDS is to provide to the technical community of the United States optimum access to critically evaluated quantitative data on the physical and chemical properties of substances and their interactions.
3. Since FY 1964, NBS has conducted SRDS activities along the following plan of operations :
(1) The planning and implementation of a series of data compilation activities organized according to technical scope.
(2) An information systems design and research activity.
(3) A variety of specialized information services to be provided to the technical community.
4. Continuing efforts have been initiated to establish and promote effective working relationships with program officers in other government agencies in order that NBS programs might be responsive to the needs of these agencies.
5. NBS present estimate of the level of expenditures required to satisfy the high-priority needs of U.S. science and technology is 4-5 times the present level of $4 million for all participants in the program and $1.5 million for NBS.
6. The proposed SRD Act would enable NBS to apply user charges to the costs of the program-estimated as a significant, but not large, fraction of the total cost of operation. 7. Alternatives in the development of SRDS:
(a) Continue present system : Hundreds of millions of dollars will be unnecessarily spent in the achievement of those goals unless SRDS is effectively implemented.
(0) Set narrower goals: The goals of the SRDS have been circumscribed by the definition of the technical scope of the program-extending only to cover intrinsic properties of well-defined substances and their interactions. The goal of the five year program is to achieve 90 to 95 percent coverage of all the properties which are determined to be of high priority by surveys and consultations with specialists.
(c) Set broader goals: To include other types of data would double or triple the resources in money and manpower required. Thus, no plans have been made within NBS to enlarge the program.
(d) Rely on other approaches to the scientific information problem: It is unlikely that the work of these organizations can make any significant
contribution to the numerical data problem for 5 to 10 years. B. Highlights of questioning (of both Dr. Astin and Dr. Hollomon)
1. The numerical data information effort is complementary to the broader information effort. It has more immediate benefits and should be gone ahead with.
2. Wish to recover by user charges the significant part of the cost of the materials, the printing, and the reproduction, and some part of the editorial and compilation costs on the average, 20 to 25 percent, ranging from 20 to 60 percent on a given volume. Under the present authority, NBS has the ability to recover substantial direct costs and some of the associated costs. If the costs were not recovered, the more services rendered, the less money would be available to develop new methods and projects. The charge also helps to determine the user need. Thinks there would be no difference in charges to nonprofit institutions.
3. The charge would not be what the market would bear, but would be based on a judgment as to the degree to which this data were critically needed, and, to some degree, how many possible customers there are. In a special service for one customer, the user would be expected to pay full cost. In no case, does NBS intend to recover more than the costs.
4. Section 7(b) makes it illegal to copy any data compilation bearing the mark, and Dr. Hollomon suggests that the word "copy" be changed to "reproduce for sale."
5. The bill would permit private organizations to publish and use the mark at the consent of the Secretary so long as they meet the required standards.
6. Would like to use user charges as a means of encouraging private public cation where possible, perhaps asking for bids from private publishers.
7. (Mr. Farrar) Thinks that the only thing that the Government "guarantees" is the fact that the data has been critically evaluated. Doesn't think the Gorernment could be sued. Would not be opposed to the inclusion of an exculpation clause in the publication.
8. New capability included in the bill are section 4 that allows the Secretary to provide criteria for the publication by anybody else of standard reference data and section 5 which provides for user charges and printing outside of GPO. 9. There are two reasons to print outside the GPO:
1. to recover user charges.
2. to permit private publication of compilations in some cases. 10. If something is printed in GPO, the government can charge up to 150 percent of the cost of printing. The funds would go to the treasury.