1997 National Data Conference

Barbara Wright bwright at nas.edu
Tue May 27 10:52:49 EST 1997

                           CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

  The Conference on Scientific and Technical Data Exchange and Integration
               Sponsored by U.S. National Committee for CODATA
                          National Research Council

                            December 15-17, 1997
                          Natcher Conference Center
                        National Institutes of Health
                                Bethesda, MD

  The exchange of scientific and technical (S&T) data among different
  computing environments and across diverse scientific and engineering
  disciplines presents major problems that hinder full exploitation of
  computer-based modeling, the Internet, modern scientific databases, and
  new computer technology.  The U.S. National Committee for CODATA is
  sponsoring the first major interdisciplinary conference on this subject
  on December 15-17, 1997, in Bethesda, MD.  The conference has three main

       - To identify areas, with special emphasis on interdisciplinary
       needs, in which data exchange and integration are important;

       - To highlight major S&T data exchange and integration efforts
       already underway or in planning; and

       - To foster serious and significant cooperation in these kinds of
       activities among scientific and engineering disciplines, and
       governmental and non-governmental organizations.

  Extended Call for Papers

  The conference will consist of four types of sessions: plenary invited
  lectures; contributed papers (which will be presented as posters);
  demonstrations; and small discussion sections.  Case studies are
  particularly encouraged.  Contributed papers and demonstrations are
  invited on the following topics:

       Discipline-specific data exchange activities and requirements
       Interdisciplinary data exchange activities and requirements
       Federally supported data exchange programs
       Definitions of scientific and technical metadata issues
       The computer science of data exchange and integration
       The impact of the Internet and the World Wide Web on S&T data
  exchange and integration
       Future needs for data exchange and integration for scientific and
  technical data

  The contributed papers and demonstrations will play a major role in the
  conference by identifying existing activities and approaches that will
  provide direction and insight for further activities.  All contributed
  papers will be considered for publication in the Conference proceedings,
  which will be published on the Internet soon after the Conference.  A 200
  word (maximum) abstract should be submitted (preferably by e-mail) by
  August 1, 1997 (new extended date) to:

       Paul F. Uhlir
       Director, U.S. National Committee for CODATA
       National Research Council
       2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
       Washington, DC 20418
       (202) 334-1684 (fax)
       (202) 334-2421 (tel.)
       codataco at nas.edu

  For further information, contact the U.S. National Committee for CODATA
  as provided above, or John Rumble, Conference Program Chair, National
  Institute of Standards and Technology, Building 820, Room 113,
  Gaithersburg, MD 20899, e-mail john.rumble at nist.gov, telephone (301)

  Notification of acceptance will be given by August 15, 1997.

  Conference Sponsors

  Defense Technical Information Center
  Department of Energy
  National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  National Institutes of Health
  National Institute of Standards and Technology
  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  National Science Foundation
  [Additional sponsors to be added]

  Preliminary Program

  Monday, December 15, 1997

  8:40 Welcome
   Chair, U.S. National Committee for CODATA

  8:45 Conference Introduction
   William Wulf, National Academy of Engineering (Accepted)

  Plenary Session 1 - The Importance of Scientific Data Sharing

  9:00 Sharing scientific data - A key to progress in research and
   Rita Colwell, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (Accepted)

  9:30 Getting more from our research investment - Cross-discipline
  and information sharing
   Neal Lane, National Science Foundation (Accepted)

  10:00 Data exchange and integration - Fundamental issues
   John Rumble, National Institute of Standards and Technology (Accepted)

  10:30 Coffee

  10:50 Industry using information - Why industry shares scientific and
  technical data, and how
   Robert Kiggans, PDES, Inc. (Accepted)

  11:20 The need for data sharing in global change research
   Robert Corell, National Science Foundation  (Accepted)

  11:50 Lunch

  Demonstrations and Poster Presentations (from 11:45 am on Monday until
  5:00 pm on Tuesday)

  Plenary Session 2 - Tearing Down the Walls: The Art and Science of Data
  Exchange and Integration

  3:00 Data exchange and integration - Approaches
   Gio Wiederhold, Stanford University (Accepted)

  3:30 Information modeling
   Yuhwei Yang, Product Data Integration Technology (Accepted)

  4:00 Resolving conceptual disagreements

  4:30 The sociology of data exchange - Reaching consensus on data exchange
   Bruce Wiersma, University of Maine at Orono (Accepted)

  5:00 Making data easy to share
   Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland (Accepted)

  5:30 Adjourn

  Tuesday, December 16

  Plenary Session 3: Challenges to Cooperation - Why data exchange must

  9:00 Sharing scientific and technical data - Maximizing the potential of
  the National Information Infrastructure
   Senior Administration Official [to be determined]

  9:45 Long-term ecological and environmental data  - The challenge of
  keeping and remembering
  Susan Stafford, Oregon State University (Accepted)

  10:10 Space observation data - Looking in and looking out
   Jim Green, NASA (Accepted)

  10:35 Coffee

  11:00 Human health and global climate change
   Paul Epstein, Harvard University (Accepted)

  11:25 Geographic information systems - what everybody needs, and why
   David Mark, University of Buffalo (Accepted)

  11:50 Molecular and cellular bioinformatics - From molecules to
  biological functionality
  David Lipman, National Center for Biotechnology Information (Accepted)

  12:15 Lunch

  Break Out Sessions

  1:15 Break out sessions - topics to be finalized later

  2:45 Coffee

  4:45 Conclusion of break out sessions

  Plenary Session 3 - Challenges of Cooperation (cont.)

  5:00 Sharing social science data
   Roberta Miller, Consortium for International Earth Science Information
  Network (Accepted)

  5:30 Adjourn

  Wednesday, December 17

  Plenary Session 4 - How to Cooperate - Examples of Successful
  Cross-Discipline Data Exchange and Integration

  8:45 Geographic information systems
   John Moeller, U.S. Geological Survey and Federal Geographic Data
  Committee (Accepted)

  9:05 ISO Standard for the exchange of product data
   Howard Bloom, National Institute of Standards and Technology (Accepted)

  9:25 World Data Centers
   Ferris Webster, University of Delaware (Accepted)

  9:45 To be determined

  10:05 Coffee

  Closing Plenary

  10:30 Ideas from the Break-Out Sessions
   Julian Humphries, Kansas State University (Accepted)

  10:50 Next steps for the scientists
   Robert Robbins, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Accepted)

  11:20 Next steps for the research community
  Official from the Office of Science and Technology Policy [TBD]

  11:45 Final Remarks
   Chair, U.S. National Committee for CODATA

  Additional Background

  By data exchange is meant several things: the transfer of large amounts
  of data from one set of software to other software; extracting small
  amounts of data from one or more data sources for specific use; and the
  creation of a linked or integrated data system with multiple data
  sources.  Other possibilities exist.  Data exchange has two major
  components: the stream of bits and bytes
  that actually represent the data items and fields, and the contextual
  meaning of individual data items and fields.

  S&T disciplines and applications have begun addressing data exchange
  issues, but progress has been slow and difficult for a variety of
  reasons.  Scientists are often not accustomed to formal standards.
  Discipline experts, even though they may be quite knowledgeable in
  computation and database management, frequently lack expertise in
  information modeling and exchange standards.  Metadata are not well
  defined, complicating the application of data across diverse scientific
  areas.  As a result, interdisciplinary data exchange has been difficult
  to promote and rarely implemented.

  Consider for a moment geographic information.  Many applications need
  such information:  to locate physically the sources of samples, to
  describe the range of a phenomenon, or to specify the location of an
  event, among others.  Today many geographic information systems serve
  diverse communities of users, and several efforts to develop standards
  for exchanging data among these systems have been proposed.  Yet progress
  to develop such standards in other areas has been slow.  Other types of
  scientific data, such as biological nomenclature, chemical and
  engineering material identification and temporal data, suffer the same
  problem.  Many uses for these data exist outside the scientific
  disciplines that generate them, yet accepted methods for exchanging these
  data remain elusive.

  In Finding the Forest in the Trees, The Challenge of Combining Diverse
  Environmental Data, the U.S. National Committee for CODATA clearly
  documented case studies in which data interfacing, defined in that report
  as the coordination, combination or integration of data for the purpose
  of modeling, correlation, pattern analysis, hypotheses testing, and field
  investigation at various scales, was necessary to achieve full value of
  research investment.  Data interfacing is founded upon the standards and
  protocols agreed to by different scientific disciplines to exchange data.
  Particular emphasis must be put on the role of metadata in this data

  About CODATA

  The Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) is an
  interdisciplinary committee organized under the International Council of
  Scientific Unions (ICSU).  CODATA is concerned with all types of
  quantitative data resulting from experimental measurements or
  observations in the physical, biological, geological, and astronomical
  sciences.  Particular emphasis is given to data management problems
  common to different scientific disciplines and to data used outside the
  field in which they were generated.  The general objectives are the
  improvement of the quality and accessibility of data, as well as the
  methods by which data are acquired, managed, and analyzed; the
  facilitation of international cooperation among those collecting,
  organizing, and using data; and the promotion of an increased awareness
  in the scientific and technical community of the importance of these

  The U.S. National Committee for CODATA is organized by the National
  Research Council to administer activities within the United States
  related to CODATA.  The Committee is funded by
  several federal agencies.  Over the past decade, the Committee has
  completed several studies that have identified and analyzed issues
  related to maximizing the availability and usability of scientific and
  technical data.  This national conference builds upon those studies and
  is intended to spur further progress and cooperation in data exchange and

  Local Information

  The Natcher Conference Center is located in the National Institutes of
  Health complex in Bethesda, MD at 45 Center Drive.  It is most easily
  accessible by the Metro or by taxi.  Parking facilities are limited.

  A block of rooms has been reserved at the government rate at the Bethesda
  Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1 Bethesda Metro Center (on Wisconsin Avenue),  tel.
  (301) 657-1234.  The hotel is located by the Bethesda Metro stop on the
  Red Line, one stop from the Natcher Conference Center.

  Additional information about the Conference site, hotel accommodations,
  and local travel will be provided to all registrants in advance of the

  Organizing Committee

  Goetz Oertel (Chair), Association of Universities for Research in
  Gerald Barton, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  James Beach, National Science Foundation
  W. Murray Black, George Mason University
  Rita Colwell, Maryland Biotechnology Institute
  Ali Ghovanlou, Department of Energy
  Sara Graves, University of Alabama at Huntsville
  Micah Krichevsky, Bionomics International
  David Lide, Jr., Chair, U.S. National Committee for CODATA, and
  Kurt Molholm, Defense Technical Information Center
  John Rumble, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  James Thieman, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  Paul Uhlir, Director, U.S. National Committee for CODATA,
    National Research Council

  Program Committee

  John Rumble (Chair),  National Institute of Standards and Technology
  Martin Hardwick, STEP Tools, Inc.
  Julian Humphries, University of Kansas
  Paul Kanciruk, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  David Mark, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis
  Crystal Newton, Materials Sciences Corporation
  Robert Robbins, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  Gio Wiederhold, Stanford University

  Conference Registration

  Space is limited and advance registration is required. To register,
  please complete
  the form (below), detach, and mail, enclosing a non-refundable
  registration fee.

  Registration fee:
       Before November 15, 1997 $150.00
         After November 15, 1997     $200.00
            Students       $  30.00

  Please send only one registration per form.  For other participants,
  reproduce the form prior to completing it. Only checks, money orders, or
  purchase orders can be accepted.  We regret that we cannot take
  reservations by email and that we cannot accept credit cards.

  If you have special dietary or physical needs, please notify us in
  when registering.

  Need more information? Call: (202) 334-2421, or Email:  CODATACO at NAS.EDU

  (Cut here)

  Registration for Conference on Scientific and Technical Data Exchange and
  (One form per registrant only--please print or type)

  Full Name:



  Mailing Address
  Zip code:


  Electronic mail address:

  Please indicate below if you have any dietary or physical restrictions,
  or have other comments:

  Please make check payable to:  U.S. National Committee for CODATA.

  Mail to:
  U.S. National Committee for CODATA
  National Research Council, Room 315
  2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
  Washington, DC  20418

More information about the Ecophys mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net