WASHINGTON -Alvin Thaler of the National Science Foundation thinks scientists should not have to play elaborately boring games on their computers to be able to ex change information with their colleagues. A new $2 million program within the Foundation's Office of Information Systems holds out the eventual hope of permitting the free and easy exchange of data that is supposed to be the hallmark of science.

The first step is called EXPRES, which stands for EXPerimental Research in Electronic Submission. It tackles the more than 18 million sheets of paper consumed each year in grant applications to the Foundation. As Thaler noted, "There was something bizarre about the quantities of paper we were being engulfed in."

This month the University of Michigan and Carnegie-Mellon University were selected to con-duct demonstration projects to ease that burden. Both universities are also centers for the supercomputer network that the Science Foundation has...

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