International Council for Science - World Data Center System

A. Principles and Responsibilities of ICSU World Data Centers

The basic principles and responsibilities of the international exchange of solar, geophysical and environmental data through the World Data Centers have carried forward under ICSU rules, essentially unchanged since the establishment of the WDC system for the IGY. The following text replaces the sections on "Principles and Responsibilities of the World Data Centers" in Part I of the Guide to the World Data Center System, dated November 1987.

  1. World Data Centers are operated for the benefit of the international scientific community. WDCs in the United States are designated as WDCA, in Russia as WDC-B, in other European countries as WDC-C or WDC-C1, in Japan or India as WDC-C2, and in China as WDC-D. They are supported by national organizations according to these Principles laid down by the ICSU Panel on World Data Centers.

  2. The resources required to operate WDCs are the responsibility of the host country or institution, which is expected to provide these resources on a long-term basis. If for any reason a WDC is closed, the data holdings shall be transferred to another WDC.

  3. WDCs will, subject to their financial resources, accept data according to the data management plans of appropriate ICSU scientific programs or monitoring activities, and store these data safely and in good condition. WDCs may enhance their holdings by seeking and collecting related data sets. They may prepare higher-order data products such as indices of activity and collated or condensed data sets.

  4. WDCs will prepare and publish catalogs of their data holdings, or otherwise make freely available information on their holdings, e.g., by electronic access.

  5. WDCs will exchange data among themselves, as mutually agreed and when-ever possible without charge, to facilitate data availability, to provide back-up copies, and to aid the preparation of higher order data products.

  6. No confidential or security-classified data are to be held in a WDC.

  7. Data may be subject to privileged use by their originators, for a period to be agreed beforehand, and not to exceed two years from the date of acquisition by the WDC.

  8. WDCs will provide data to scientists in any country free of charge, on an exchange basis or at a cost not to exceed the cost of copying and sending the requested data. Additional charges may be made for special services, or for acquiring data from outside the WDC system.

  9. WDCs will accept any scientist as a visitor to work on site with data holdings held under WDC auspices.

  10. WDCs will report to the ICSU Panel as requested.


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