As reported in recent issues of this newsletter, NASA's Office of Space Science (OSS) is pondering possible realignments in its science data management and archiving activity. Such realignments could have significant impact on NSSDC.
As of the end of September 1996, no OSS guidelines had come to NSSDC about its future. NSSDC will report any new guidelines that imply significant changes in the electronic version of this newsletter when it has them.
Such guidelines have been expected imminently, which is a key reason for having delayed the issuance of this newsletter. But issuance is now well past due, so NSSDC is proceeding with this "still waiting" message.
Note added November 8, 1996 - The Final Report of the Task Group on Science Data Management (http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/c630/ssdoo_main.html) (the "Linsky Committee") has been delivered to NASA/Office of Space Science. The report strongly endorses the principles enunciated by the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Data Management and Computation (CODMAC) in the early 1980s. CODMAC stressed the desirability of distributing data management roles and responsibilities throughout the community of scientific data generators and users, while at the same time assuring the permanent archiving of data. The Linsky Committee's Report recommended a new Space Science Data System, guided by a community-based Information Systems and Operations Working Group, with many competitively selected discipline nodes, a competitively selected Permanent Archive, and a coordination office that would evolve from the present NSSDC. The full report in PostScript format is ANON/FTP-accessible from pandora.colorado.edu in the directory pub/jvalenti/NASA. NASA's Office of Space Science is presently firming up its plan for moving the evolution of its data management and archiving environment forward.