The National Standard Reference Data System

Science  12 May 1967:
Vol. 156, Issue 3776, pp. 754-762
DOI: 10.1126/science.156.3776.754


The National Standard Reference Data System is a government-wide effort to give to the technical community of the United States optimum access to the quantitative data of physical science, critically evaluated and compiled for convenience. This program was established in 1963 through action of the President's Office of science and Technology and the Federal Council for Science and Technology, acting upon the recommendation of the Council's Committee on Scientific and Technical Information. The National Bureau of Standards has been assigned responsibility for administering the effort. The general object of the system is to coordinate and integrate existing activities in data evaluation and compilation into a systematic comprehensive program, supplementing and expanding technical coverage when necessary, establishing and maintaining standard for the output of the participating groups, and providing mechanisms for dissemination of the output as required.

The NSRDS is a decentralized operation of nationwide scope, with central coordination by the Bureau; it comprises a complex of data centers and other activities carried on in government agencies, academic institutions, and nongovernmental laboratories. The independent operational status of existing data projects is maintained and encouraged. Data centers that are components of NSRDS produce compilations of critically evaluated data, critical reviews of the state of quantitative knowledge in specialized areas, and computations of useful functions derived from standard reference data.

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