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42 U.S. Code § 6624 - Federal scientific collections

(a) Management of scientific collectionsThe Office of Science and Technology Policy shall develop policies for the management and use of Federal scientific collections to improve the quality, organization, access, including online access, and long-term preservation of such collections for the benefit of the scientific enterprise. In developing those policies the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall consult, as appropriate, with—
Federal agencies with such collections; and
representatives of other organizations, institutions, and other entities not a part of the Federal Government that have a stake in the preservation, maintenance, and accessibility of such collections, including State and local government agencies, institutions of higher education, museums, and other entities engaged in the acquisition, holding, management, or use of scientific collections.
(b) Clearinghouse

The Office of Science and Technology Policy, in consultation with relevant Federal agencies, shall ensure the development of an online clearinghouse for information on the contents of and access to Federal scientific collections.

(c) Disposal of collectionsThe policies developed under subsection (a) shall—
(1) require that, before disposing of a scientific collection, a Federal agency shall—
conduct a review of the research value of the collection; and
(B) consult with researchers who have used the collection, and other potentially interested parties, concerning—
the collection’s value for research purposes; and
possible additional educational uses for the collection; and
include procedures for Federal agencies to transfer scientific collections they no longer need to researchers at institutions or other entities qualified to manage the collections.
(d) Cost projections

The Office of Science and Technology Policy, in consultation with relevant Federal agencies, shall develop a common set of methodologies to be used by Federal agencies for the assessment and projection of costs associated with the management and preservation of their scientific collections.

(e) Scientific collection defined

In this section, the term “scientific collection” means a set of physical specimens, living or inanimate, created for the purpose of supporting science and serving as a long-term research asset, rather than for their market value as collectibles or their historical, artistic, or cultural significance, and, as appropriate and feasible, the associated specimen data and materials.

Editorial Notes

Section was enacted as part of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, also known as the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Reauthorization Act of 2010, and not as part of the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 which comprises this chapter.