International Council for Science - World Data Center System

Appendix C - ICSU Resolutions and General Assemblies

[Appendix A] [Appendix B] [Appendix C] [Appendix D] [Appendix E]


From time to time, statements and resolutions relating to the World Data Center System have been adopted by the International Council of Scientific Unions. Resolutions of this kind were formally adopted at the 17th, 18th, 19th and 22nd General Assemblies of ICSU.

17th General Assembly of ICSU (Athens, 1978):

Recommends that prior to approving the initiation of new projects in the fields of geophysics and solarterrestrial physics, the Executive Board should ensure that the planning for these projects includes clear provision for data collection, archiving and distribution and that such plans have been developed in consultation with the ICSU Panel on World Data Centers.

18th General Assembly of ICSU (Amsterdam, 1980):

Noting that international geophysical programs are increasingly generating data sets which are largely, if not entirely, digital and machine readable, and therefore that it is of the greatest importance that the World Data Centers acquire the necessary equipment, procedures and personnel for the efficient processing, archiving and retrieval of data in large quantities in machine readable form;

Recognizing that the costs of maintaining the WDCs are borne entirely by those countries in which they are located, but that the Centers are required to meet the changing needs of the international scientific community as determined by the relevant Unions, Associations, Commissions and Committees of ICSU;

Records its deep appreciation of the enormous service provided by the World Data Centers, to the world scientific community;

Invites the responsible National Agencies to consider ways and means of meeting the need for continued modernization of WDC data handling facilities.

19th General Assembly of ICSU (Cambridge, 1982):

Aware that in 1982 the system of World Data Centers in geophysics and solarterrestrial physics celebrates its 25th anniversary;

Noting that the data collected by the World Data Centers during the past 25 years contain the results of observations from a world network of stations in a wide range of scientific disciplines, from international and national expeditions to remote regions of the globe including Antarctica, from ocean research vessels, and from space probes in the nearEarth environment; and that these data were the sources of many important discoveries in the fields of planetary geophysics and solar terrestrial physics;

Noting further that many countries have spent large sums to finance observations the results of which are now stored at the World Data Centers and made generally available to the world scientific community; and

Recognizing that the principles underlying the activities of the World Data Centers and the relations these activities have established among national scientific communities are a demonstration of the great progress achieved in international cooperation among scientists;

Congratulates all those involved in the World Data Center system in geophysics and solarterrestrial physics;

Thanks the ICSU National Members in the U.S.A., U.S.S.R. and other countries for arranging the facilities necessary for maintaining the operation of WDCs A, B, and C; and

Recommends that scientists within the ICSU family who have not availed themselves of the services offered by the World Data Center system establish contact with the system and with the ICSU Panel on World Data Centers.

22nd General Assembly of ICSU (Beijing, 1988):

Noting that:

i. the success of international cooperative programs in science depends on an unprecedented sharing of scientific data and information;

ii. ICSU has a longstanding commitment to the free circulation of scientists and access to scientific data and information; and

iii. processes of data and information handling and dissemination are rapidly becoming technically more sophisticated and potentially more expensive for those who provide and use these services;

Recommends all ICSU members to support the fundamental principle of open exchange of data and information for scientific purposes by strongly urging public and private organizations in all countries to facilitate access to scientific information and data needed to address the research objectives of ICSU programs; and

Further recommends that the Executive Board establish a mechanism to monitor the implementation of this principle and take action on problems that may arise.

Resolutions on free and open access to scientific and environmental data have been made by ICSU bodies, for example:

International Union of Radio Science (URSI): Resolution on free access to environmental data, Approved at the URSI General Assembly, Kyoto, 1993.

Scientific Committee on SolarTerrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP): Bureau Resolution, 1994.

Recommendations may also be found in the Report of the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED), Sections 31 and 35, 1992.

[Appendix A] [Appendix B] [Appendix C] [Appendix D] [Appendix E]

WDC GUIDE [Table of Contents] -- WDC [HOME]