ISBN Print: 1-56700-002-9
Since 1968 the ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology has held a conference every two years to bring together individuals concerned with the evaluation, storage, and dissemination of scientific and technical data. These conferences have provided an opportunity for those concerned with data in various disciplines of science, as well as specialists in information technology, to exchange ideas and report on recent developments. The conferences have formed one of the key mechanisms by which CODATA carries out its mission to improve the quality, reliability, management, and accessibility of data of importance to all fields of science and technology. The Twelfth International CODATA Conference was held in Columbus, Ohio, July 15-19, 1990, and was attended by over 300 scientists from 26 countries. This volume contains selected papers of long-term value prepared by some of the speakers at the Conference. A major theme of the Conference was the data requirements for the rapidly growing studies of man's impact in the biosphere and geosphere. Research on global change is data-intensive; observations of the earth's surface from satellites, geological studies of long-term climate changes, and monitoring of the constituents of the atmosphere and oceans generate enormous quantities of data. Other data from the physical and biological sciences are needed as input to models for predicting environmental changes. The first section of this volume contains papers dealing with plans and programs for the quality control, storage, generation, dissemination, and use of the data involved in major aspects of global change. The second section of the book contains papers on generic aspects of data handling, including expert systems, storage and retrieval strategies, and knowledge tools. New developments in information technology which may have application to various types of scientific data management are discussed. Subsequent sections deal with database developments in specific scientific fields, particularly in materials science, chemistry and chemical engineering, and molecular biology. Finally, there are several papers reviewing CODATA's role in international data management programs.