WASHINGTON--The National Science Foundation has created a new program that funds research on how to store, retrieve, and manipulate scientific data. Its goal is to help scientists make better use of the flood of information their work is generating, as well as to stimulate cooperation among individual disciplines in tackling common problems in processing data. In addition, participants hope to upgrade the status of the information sciences by demonstrating the importance of modern scientific database management.

"We have 1990s data access and 1960s data technology," says Lucian Russell, a computer systems engineer at Argonne National Laboratory who has a two-year grant from NSF to create an electronic bulletin board on scientific databases. "That's a recipe for disaster. We must come up with better ways to handle the vast amounts of data now available. If not, either there will be a massive duplication of effort and lots of mistakes, or only...

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