It is expected that the GLOBEC Georges Bank study will provide a testing ground for a yet to be specified GLOBEC data policy and its implementation. To follow the initiative of the other Global Geoscience Initiatives, WOCE and JGOFS, it is important that a data policy be established that is both fair to the scientists participating in the program and that facilitates the timely, broad base use of the data. The latter aspect is particularly crucial in terms of the international interactions. Data should in general be available to the wider community within one year of its preparation.

Scientists must learn to work cooperatively with respect to data sharing and analysis if the multidisciplinary and international cooperation envisioned in the planning of these. programs is to see fruition.

Data handling and transfer mechanisms need to be established in order to facilitate the rapid/accurate exchange of data and the creation of a use-able long term data base. In many ways the existing historical data sets are an appropriate starting point. Much of the historical data on fisheries, regional hydrography and distributions of zooplankton are unavailable, difficult to use or incomplete in relation to the problems GLOBEC wishes to address. In this respect GLOBEC should cooperate with planned and underway efforts on the part of NOAA and JGOFS/WOCE to improve the data bases. In particular, an effort to make fisheries data sets available to the larger community and to facilitate the multidisciplinary training exercise needed for people with expertise in physical climate analysis and fisheries to work together. A Georges Bank data set organized in manner similar to the JGOFS data management system might be a first order goal. International data exchanges and cooperative analysis with respect to climatological data sets should also be a high priority.

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