Utilization of the World Wide Web

Peter J. Mohr (Panel Chair)1, Gary Mallard1,
Uri V. Ralschenko2, David R. Schultz3

1National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-0001, USA
2Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
3Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6373, USA

Reproduced with permission from Atomic and Molecular Data and Their Applications
edited by P.J. Mohr and W.L. Wiese
© 1998 American Institute of Physics, New York, Conference Proceeding #434


This panel session examined two aspects of utilization of the World Wide Web. One aspect is communication of technical data through web sites that provide repositories of atomic and molecular data accessible through searchable databases. The other aspect is use of the World Wide Web as a means of communication about issues of mutual concern among data producers, data compilers and evaluators, and data users. The latter aspect includes communication of information relevant to future meetings of the ICAMDATA series. Conclusions and recommendations based on remarks at the session are given below.


The main points made at this panel session are briefly given in this section.

The World Wide Web is the medium of choice for communicating data to a wide audience. It is widely used for dissemination of data by data centers world wide and its use promises to increase in the future. At the same time, the very fact that data may easily be distributed by anyone means that critical evaluation by experts is crucial in order for users to be able distinguish reliable information from all that can be found on the Web.

A Web site that gives a comprehensive listing of atomic data Web sites is maintained at http://plasma-gate.weizmann.ac.il/. Users are requested to provide information on sites that might be added to this listing so that it will be as complete as possible.

A database that gives a wide variety of properties of chemical compounds in an integrated searchable format is maintained at http://webbook.nist.gov/chemistry/.

Data compiled and distributed on the Web should not be hindered by copyright of the original source literature. The quotation of published results on the Web is equivalent to quoting results in publications provided the original source is credited. In fact, it is critical to give full credit to the original source of data in order for data producers to be recognized. A related issue of international copyright laws directed at databases is discussed in one of the accompanying articles in this volume by R.S. Berry.


Some general conclusions may be drawn concerning utilization of the World Wide Web for communication of and about data.

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