PART A: SUMMARY OF PROJECT ACTIVITIES AND FINDINGS
PART B: PROJECT RECOMMENDATIONS
AIP Working Group for Documenting Multi-Institutional Collaborations in High-Energy Physics
Although the multi-institutional collaboration is increasingly the organizational framework for scientific research, it has received only incidental attention from scholars. Without a dedicated effort to understand the process of collaborative research, even the records necessary for efficient administration, for historical and management studies, and for posterity, will be largely scattered or destroyed. The Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) is working to redress this situation with a multi-stage investigation. The aim is to identify patterns of collaborations, define the scope of the documentation problems, field-test possible solutions, and recommend future actions. The first phase of the study addressed high-energy physics.
The two-year study of high-energy physics research focussed on experiments approved between 1973 and 1984 at five of the world's major accelerator laboratories. A broad-scale picture of changes in the structure of collaborations was obtained by using databases on high-energy physics experiments and publications. At a more detailed level, the project conducted interviews on 24 selected experimental collaborations. Still more detailed "probes" of three highly significant collaborations featured historical research as well as many additional interviews and work to preserve records. Some 300 interviews were analyzed to identify patterns of collaborative research and records creation, retention, and location. Meanwhile project staff surveyed the records-keeping practices of key physicists and made numerous site visits to accelerator facilities and university archives to discuss archival issues and records policies.
We found that the needs for instrumentation and the collaborations' lack of autonomous administrative powers affected all phases of collaborative research. The need for more, larger, and more sophisticated instruments has driven up the number of physicists a would-be experiment organizer must mobilize. The characteristics of the instrumentation can constrain the social and organizational options that physicists confront in collaborative research. The relative impotence of collaborations compared with universities and accelerator laboratories can limit the short- or long-term willingness of physicists to work together in particular collaborations.
Two major types of collaborative patterns seem to predominate. Some collaborations are held together by the commitment of a few leaders to explore and use all facets of a particle, process, or experimental technique; these collaborations perform "strings" of experiments. Other collaborations are coalitions of diverse physics interests held together by a common interest in a detector and accelerator that can potentially address all their concerns; these collaborations perform "freestanding" experiments.
Regarding archival problems, we found that most physicists, like other groups, only keep documents when they think they are useful to them. Good records-keeping may be acknowledged by all as necessary while the experimental process is alive, but when the experiment is over records can easily be neglected, forgotten, or destroyed. The main locations for collaboration records are in the hands of spokespersons, at the laboratory sites, and, to a lesser extent in the possession of group leaders.
We appraised records in terms of the quality of evidence they provided concerning the research process. "Core" records that should be preserved for all collaborations include the records of the laboratories' Physics Advisory Committees. A wider set of records that should be saved to document experiments of high significance includes intra-collaboration mailings, experiment ("running") logbooks, personal notebooks, and professional files of spokespersons, group leaders, and other individuals. Archival programs that can preserve such materials are firmly in place in academia, and we also found emerging or well-established programs at most laboratories.
Finally, we developed a set of recommendations to promote preservation of valuable documentation for future use by science administrators, policy-makers, and historians and other scholars. The single most important recommendation urges a new approach that would greatly facilitate securing records for future experiments: accelerator laboratories should set up a mechanism based on its contractual agreement with collaborations in which spokespersons would assign records-keeping responsibilities to individual members. Use of this simple mechanism would assist archivists by assuring that records will be available for appraisal and by providing information on their location.
The study of collaborations in high-energy physics was guided by a working group of distinguished high-energy physicists, science administrators, archivists, historians, and sociologists. It was supported by the AIP and the Department of Energy, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and the National Science Foundation.
PART A: SUMMARY OF PROJECT ACTIVITIES AND FINDINGS [Back to Top]
I. PROJECT GOALS, METHODOLOGY, AND ACTIVITIES
A. Purpose and Methodology of the Long-Term Study of Collaborations.
Since World War II, the organizational framework for scientific research is increasingly the multi-institutional collaboration. However, this form of research has received slight attention from scholars. Without a dedicated effort to understand such collaborations, policy makers and administrators will continue to have only hearsay and their own memories to guide their management; even the records necessary for efficient administration, for historical and management studies, and for posterity, will be largely scattered or destroyed.
The Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics, in keeping with its mission to preserve and make known the record of modern physics, is working to redress this situation with a multi-stage investigation into areas of physics and allied sciences where multi-institutional collaborations are prominent. The long-term study began in 1989. Phase I, which focussed on the field of high-energy physics, is now completed; Phase II, now underway, is devoted to collaborative research in space science and geophysics; Phase III scheduled to begin in 1994, will focus on comparative studies of other fields in science and technology and questions of documentation policy and practice.
The goal of the long-term study is to make it possible for scholars and others to understand these transient "institutions." In order to locate and preserve historical documentation, we must first get some idea of the process of collaborative research and how the records are generated and used. Hence, we are making a broad preliminary survey, the first of its kind, into the functioning of research collaborations. We restrict ourselves to collaborations since the mid-1970s that include three or more institutions.
Our study is designed to identify patterns of collaborations, define the scope of the documentation problems, field-test possible solutions, and recommend future actions. Along the way we are building an archives of oral history interviews and other resources for scholarly use. Toward the end of the study, the AIP Center will begin to make use of its findings to promote systems to document significant collaborative research.
The AIP study of Multi-Institutional Collaborations is guided by a Working Group of distinguished scientists and science administrators, archivists, historians, and sociologists who join in designing the project's methodology and research instruments and reviewing its findings and recommendations. Several members also serve as consultants. At the AIP, Frederik Nebeker and Joel Genuth have served as project historian and Lynn Maloney and Janet Linde as project archivist. The project is directed by Joan Warnow-Blewett with the assistance of Spencer R. Weart.
B. Phase I: The Study of Collaborative Research in High-Energy Physics.
The AIP Center's two-year study of high-energy physics research focussed on experiments approved between 1973 and 1984 at five of the world's major accelerator laboratories: the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), the Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR) facility at Cornell University's Newman Laboratory, the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC).
AIP project members obtained a broad-scale picture of changes in the structure of collaborations by using databases on high-energy physics experiments and publications at SLAC, with the assistance of SLAC staff. At a more detailed level, the project conducted close to 200 interviews with scientists and administrators involved in 24 selected experimental collaborations, using a structured question set covering all stages of the collaborative process. Still more detailed "probes" of three highly significant collaborations featured historical research as well as many additional interviews (a total of about 100) and ground work to insure that important records are preserved. Specifically, Peter Galison studied the discovery of the psi particle at SLAC; Frederik Nebeker studied the discovery of the upsilon particle at FNAL, and Joel Genuth studied the CLEO collaboration at Cornell. Meanwhile project staff surveyed the records-keeping practices of key physicists and made numerous site visits to accelerator facilities and university archives to discuss archival issues and records policies.
The study of high-energy physics was made possible through support for the project's domestic work from the Department of Energy, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives, and the National Science Foundation; additional funding was received from the Mellon Foundation to extend the study to take international considerations into account. Support was also provided by the American Institute of Physics.
II. HISTORICAL ANALYSIS [Back to Top]
A. General Organization and Management.
1. Social Origins of Collaborations. The period covered by our sample encompassed or was proximate to the inauguration of six new accelerators at four of the five accelerator laboratories we covered. Most of the collaborations in our sample formed to take advantage of a new accelerator. While it would be an oversimplification to label the formation of collaborations as "accelerator-driven," the implication of this sample is that the construction of a new accelerator is a sure way to stimulate a shake-up in the pattern of working relations among high-energy physicists.
Pre-existing professional relationships and personal contacts were, not surprisingly, central to the formation of many collaborations. But only two of the collaborations studied were successfully assembled entirely on that basis. Would-be experiment organizers have used "summer studies" and open meetings to get beyond their circle of physics friends, and five of the experiments done at U.S. laboratories were performed by "shot-gun marriages"-collaborations that laboratory administrators had brokered after receiving multiple proposals to do similar experiments.
There is no apparent formula for picking collaborators successfully. Our sample includes one instance where a falling-out between long-standing friends infected physics discussions involving their students, and two instances where strangers became fast friends and long-standing collaborators. It does seem to be the case that brokered collaborations did not endure beyond the experiment that brought the collaborators together.
2. Size and Composition of Collaborations. The organizers of experiments understood that they needed to attract enough physicists to an experiment to convince laboratory administrators that the experiment, if approved, could be built and run as proposed. That condition drove physicists to form collaborations to match the scale of their experiments rather than the norms of previous experimentation. But it did not induce physicists to "pad" proposals in order to have a margin of safety should some part of the experiment prove unexpectedly taxing. To the contrary, interviewees usually described experiments as understaffed, shoestring operations, even when the collaboration seemed unusually large.
Competition for the field's limited funds and personnel is an obvious factor in keeping collaborations lean in relation to the tasks they undertook. However, the overall, qualitative impression from the interviews is that the understaffing of experiments was a cultural norm that many American physicists considered beneficial. This impression is strengthened by the dearth of similar statements in the interviews of European physicists.
Even though collaboration organizers kept collaborations as small as possible, the larger collaborations have created administrative positions and subsets of itself to deal with matters that were handled collectively or by individuals in smaller collaborations. But even for the larger experiments, collaboration meetings remained the forum for making most decisions on basic strategies for designing, running, and producing results from the experiment.
One physicist, who worked on one of the smaller, early experiments from this study, left high-energy physics rather than work in ever larger collaborations. Some who have managed to keep working on smaller experiments look at the larger collaborations with a mixture of perplexity and disdain. But the people on the inside found satisfaction in large collaborations even when they had expected to feel uncomfortable.
Experiment organizers tended to worry about getting enough collaborators for an experiment rather than putting together a complementary blend of skills and subspecialties. They seemed to assume that individual American physicists were familiar with, if not expert in, all phases of an experiment, and that a university group encompassed all the skills needed for an experiment. A few physicists described themselves or certain of their colleagues as primarily "computer-oriented," apparatus builders, or data analyzers, but most wanted graduate students to participate in all types of work as part of their training.
3. Multi-Institutionality and Social Relations. During the period covered by our study, two types of institutional groups participated in high-energy physics experiments: research groups at the accelerator laboratories and university groups. Because academic high-energy physicists in the U.S.A. were funded as university groups, whose size and budgets were limited by both university and governmental dynamics, and because accelerator-laboratory groups were fewer in number, collaborations could become larger only by including more domestic academic institutions or foreign groups. The addition of institutions brought collaborations both extra resources and organizational complexity. This fundamental trade-off was probably the greatest source of daily friction within collaborations.
The collaborations in our sample lacked the administrative powers to reward and discipline their faculty-level members. Promotions, pay raises, hiring privileges, the administration of research grants, and access to a machine shop or research and development laboratory all rested with the several institutions that employed the collaborators. Collaborations' lack of powers raised problems in three kinds of situations. First, when a narrowly focussed experiment involved more faculty than it had physics topics to address, the collaboration was prone to divisive disputes over credit for the results obtained. Second, when physicists could use a detector to address multiple topics, but only one topic at a time, individuals or small cliques of faculty would usually adopt one of the possible lines of inquiry and then fight over whose interests deserved collaboration-wide support. Third, when a productive but aging detector seemed ripe for an upgrade, collaborations could only imperfectly regulate competition within the collaboration for the privilege of building a favored new component. In all these situations, unilateral actions or perpetual debate could preempt collective decision-making.
Units in university physics departments, continuing a tradition that goes back to World War II, are usually the administrators of research funds for their high-energy physicists. This arrangement makes the cost of individual experiments difficult to calculate and compare, because a university's contribution to an experiment is embedded in all the other activities supported by its contract for high-energy physics research. However, there are at least two powerful reasons for continuing to use this framework: collaborations have been transitory while universities are stable fixtures in the institutional landscape; and university units may want to regulate the activities of individual faculty in the interests of maintaining a mix of activities that best serves the university and its students.
The tradition of funding experiments through universities has encouraged the multi-institutionality and the internationalization of collaborations. Interviewees sensed that there were limits, which were best left imprecisely defined, on how much money would be spent on the research of any single high-energy physics group. Thus any group with the ambition to build an expensive experiment had to convince physicists from other institutions or countries to dedicate some of their institutions' resources to the experiment.
University-based experimentalists took for granted that their contracts with the funding agencies would cover travel, the support of post-docs and graduate students, and the operation of any university laboratory or shop facilities dedicated to the high-energy physics group. Uncertainty existed over the prospect of acquiring funds to buy the materials and services needed to construct major, new detector components. University units took a variety of approaches to managing their members' occasional needs to build major pieces of apparatus.
At one extreme was a unit whose members "don't really know what each other is doing" and relied on the low probability that several members would want to build apparatus in a given year. At the other extreme were units that were unified, collectively deciding on the experiments they would pursue.
The experiments done on the PEP accelerator at SLAC and larger, more recent collider experiments than those covered in our sample have not followed this tradition. In these cases, the government has provided the laboratory with funds for detector development, and the laboratory has distributed the money among the collaborations with approved experiments. This laboratory-centered approach to funding experiments appears to be part of a trend to make the laboratories responsible for overseeing the collaborations that perform large, expensive experiments.
C. Experiment Strings, Detector Development, and New Technologies.
The AIP study used the experiment numbers assigned by the laboratories to define discrete units of activity for study. We found, however, that interviewees associated receiving an experiment number with a variety of activities from building an experiment "from scratch" to moving a detector wholesale, without change, from one accelerator laboratory to another. Given the lack of consistent significance to experiment numbers, experiment-by-experiment comparisons according to the assigned numbers is problematic. However, because fixed-target experiments were usually done in "strings" with intellectual and social continuity, and because collider experiments were almost never assigned new experiment numbers, it is reasonable to compare how collaborations create strings and to suggest why collider experiments are perceived to be freestanding.
When some of the same physicists received a new experiment number for data runs that reused some or all of the apparatus of a previous run, or that used new apparatus in a design that recapitulated and embellished the design of a previous run, those physicists viewed the two experiments as parts of a string. The memberships of collaborations performing experiment strings changed greatly over time. However, at the core of each was a small, stable partnership of physicists who dedicated a substantial portion of their research careers to the study and use of particular particles, processes, or techniques. These physicists consistently sought improvements to and extensions of their existing experiments, and opportunistically exploited intersections between their experimental capabilities and developments in physical theory. Such partnerships of physicists attracted others who were "shopping" for an experiment or who discovered they had their own, usually shorter-term interests for doing an experiment in that particular area. The more enlightened and self-secure of these partners granted leadership opportunities to more junior people who had the inspiration and ambition to organize and run an experiment within their bailiwick.
Colliding-beam experimentation does not grant the technical preconditions to strings of experiments. In colliding beams experiments, beams and targets cannot be varied and customized to individual experiments, and far greater engineering constraints are encountered in modifying detector components that must fit concentrically within and around each other. The collider collaborations in our sample thus differentiated themselves by stressing one or another form of detection technique-e.g., tracking of charged particles, detection of neutral particles, or measurement of particle energies-rather than the study of one or another particle or process. This unity, however, was often limited by differences in the physics interests of collaborators. Thus in contrast to the enduring partnerships that were at the core of collaborations performing strings of fixed-target experiments, collider collaborations were coalitions that held together as long as their detector and the accelerator worked well. While none of the collider collaborations in our sample experienced detector failure, there were widespread complaints that the decline of the accelerator or the collaboration's inability to control its running energies ended experiments before data-taking possibilities had been exhausted.
In neither fixed-target nor colliding-beam experimentation did subcontracting with industry play a significant role in technical innovation in the United States. (The same was not true for Europe, partly because the CERN policy to spend its funds in the various member states fostered subcontracts to industry.) However, there have been American firms, such as Lecroy Electronics, that have catered to the high-energy physics market. Rather than produce custom-designed components under sub-contract for individual experiments, Lecroy concentrated on developing components with the generality and flexibility to be useful in many high-energy physics experiments.
D. Role of Spokesperson.
Narrowly speaking, a spokesperson has been an administrative convenience, an individual designated to speak for the collaboration to the laboratory and to inform collaborators of laboratory requirements. However, collaborations usually made an experiment's instigator their spokesperson, and the role of spokesperson carries connotations of scientific initiative and leadership as well as administrative responsibility. Collaborations in the later period covered in this study have generated more managerial tasks, and the balance between leadership and administration seems to be in flux.
In the 14 fixed-target experiments in our sample, only once did any spokesperson relinquish the role, even though several commented on the burden of familiarizing themselves with all aspects of the experiment. Because collaborations had so few powers to reward and discipline their members, spokespersons had to reason and persuade their way through the conflicts and misunderstandings that inevitably arose, and retention of their position was treated as evidence of leadership and scientific judgement. Junior faculty on the experiments in our sample thus particularly coveted the office of spokesperson in the belief that it would help their tenure campaigns.
The four collider experiments and three of the six fixed-target experiments approved in or after 1979 contained managerial practices not found in the earlier fixed-target experiments. They all created administrative substructures to handle collaboration business, or shifted spokespersons over the course of their runs, or chose the spokesperson for his administrative abilities and favorable institutional position. All these collaborations apparently found the administrative burdens of overseeing an experiment to require social innovation.
The management of collaborations has certainly needed to be strengthened as collaborations have grown larger. The practices of shifting spokespersons and selecting them for their administrative skills or position suggest that managerial burdens have come to outweigh the opportunity for exercising scientific leadership and judgement. This seems particularly true for collider collaborations, where an experiment consisted of an intricate construction project followed by the investigation of several distinct physics topics. Shifting the burden of managing such stressful operations and internally divided organizations may have kept resentments towards any individual from accumulating.
E. Organization for Detector Construction, Data Analysis, and Computer Programming.
The primary factors in producing a collaboration's organization for building a detector were logistical convenience, the availability of appropriate personnel, and technical experience. Large components and delicate components were best built near or at the accelerator to minimize transport problems. Tricky components were best designed and built at institutions with high-quality engineering staffs, while mass-produced, labor-intensive components were best built at institutions with access to inexpensive, often undergraduate help. Physicists with prior success in building a particular component tended to recapitulate their earlier success in their later experiments. Rarely do interviewees speak of wanting to build particular components because of their expected role in addressing particular physics topics.
A large task for many of the collaborations in our sample was the reconstruction of the detector's signals into categories and events that physicists could use to make calculations or measurements. The quantity of work that went into writing these one-of-a-kind programs usually induced collaborations to treat them as communal property. However, for the more tightly focussed electronic experiments and the experiments that collected data on film, the possibility of multiple analyses of raw data was real. Furthermore, with the advent of interactive data-analysis programs, even physicists in many-component experiments created individualized data samples at a higher level of generality than previously.
These conditions posed a "federalist" dilemma to collaborations: to what extent should reconstruction programs and general data samples be subject to central collaboration authority to insure homogeneity and commensurability of results; and to what extent should local customs in data analysis be allowed to flourish in order to cross-check results and to support the widest possible spectrum of tastes and interests? Compromises were difficult to reach when such conflicts arose. Some physicists saw anarchy in the use of multiple programs at a general level and trusted in their collaborators' abilities to spot any flaws in widely used programs; others saw dictation in the collaboration-wide use of someone's favored set of general programs and trusted in their collaborators' abilities to argue their way professionally to a consensus should the use of multiple programs yield conflicting results.
F. International Collaborations.
International collaborations appear to be children of necessity. None of the international collaborations in our sample became international as a result of prior personal or professional contacts, though they often led to lasting friendships. From the perspective of U.S. experimentalists (which is the perspective of most of our interviewees) any of four factors behooved experimentalists to seek foreign collaborators. First, a foreign group had developed an experimental technique that U.S. physicists wished to use and learn. Second, an experiment required more manpower and money than could be readily raised domestically. Third, a laboratory director spotted common interests in proposals from domestic and foreign collaborations and brokered a merger of the two. And fourth, U.S. experimenters with a working detector desired more beam time than a U.S. accelerator had the will or ability to provide.
Four kinds of problems, beyond the obvious ones of language, appear in international collaborations: technical, cultural, logistical, and political-legal. None proved crippling to any collaboration in our sample. However, political-legal problems appear ominous for the future if experiments continue to grow larger, longer, and more expensive. Not only will physicists need visas and travel privileges, but their spouses will probably want the right to pursue their careers during a long stay in a foreign country. Not only will physicists have to argue that an experiment is likely to make a significant contribution to physics, but also that their participation in an experiment will fit into a broader framework of policy for the use of their nations' resources for research.
G. Dissemination of Results.
Interviewees for six experiments from the early part of the period studied made little or no mention of conference talks. For the rest, conference talks were an important, though not always rare, commodity that a collaboration carefully distributed to confer credit and grant exposure to the collaboration's lesser-known members.
Drafts of journal articles were almost always subject to collaboration-wide review, and disputes over the reliability and interpretation of results were thus resolved outside of public view. There are no reports of individuals in the experiments under study asking to be removed from author lists out of distrust of a paper's results, though there are reports of people doing so on other experiments. In multi-topic experiments in our sample, collaborators have removed their names from author lists because they thought the particular topic was not worth investigating.
At least five of the collaborations examined have tried to recognize individual contributions to a particular analysis by placing a person at the head of the author list for the paper that presented those results. Deciding who belongs in that position invariably provoked acrimonious discussions, especially when two students were vying for the prize. Collaborations should probably abandon this practice, especially with students, because word-of-mouth, letters of recommendation, and participation in conferences effectively built reputations within the high-energy physics community.
H. Organizational Strategies and Communication.
Basic institutional and intellectual conditions of high-energy physics experiments required that all collaborations combine three organizational strategies, each with a characteristic pattern of communication. First, because detectors had to be assembled and data taken at a laboratory, the laboratory had to be treated as an organizational headquarters to which the outlying institutions passed and received information. Second, because no single institution had the resources to mount an experiment on its own, and because reproducibility of results was an essential confidence-builder when puzzling or controversial findings were claimed, labor had to be divided and duplicated with collaborators working independently and reporting their progress, methods, and results to the collaboration as a whole. Third, because any individual's research could make use of equipment he had not built and software he had not written, collaborators had to contribute to an information pool that enabled each to take full advantage of what others had developed.
Individually, collaborations faced a host of technical, institutional, historical, and geographic factors that made for noteworthy variation in the difficulties they found most problematic. Each collaboration idiosyncratically blended complementary organization strategies and compromised among conflicting strategies in order to have the best chance of handling its toughest difficulties. However, no collaboration could (happily) allow its toughest difficulties to drive the shaping of strategy to the exclusion of accommodating the interests of those with lesser difficulties. Technical factors were an obvious source of compelling problems for collaborations, but the other factors also significantly influenced the shaping of strategy-sometimes in ways that ran counter to technical factors.
Viewed over time, our sample brings out one major trend and two major continuities. The creation of intra-collaboration information has become increasingly formal (e.g., collaboration-wide mailings and memoranda) and increasingly electronic in the larger, more recent experiments. Collaborations have continued to divide labor, and the collaboration meeting has remained the forum for discussions that led to decisions concerning the tactics and results of experiments. Even interviewees who found collaboration meetings unpleasant did not suggest alternatives to their use to debate and decide the physics issues in an experiment.
I. Graduate Education.
Interviewees universally lamented the effect of length and complexity of experiments on graduate education. Long construction times made it difficult for a student to build hardware for and analyze data from the same experiment. Complexity of data gathering encouraged a student to focus on developing the technical expertise needed to keep an experiment working rather than on the extraction of physics results from the experiment. No interviewee said outright that his experiment proved a bad vehicle for graduate education. But many worried that their next experiment will be the one that forces students to spend too much time on too few stages.
To alleviate the problems of length, some interviewees advocated changing standards for degrees so that students can write theses that deal solely with instrumentation. (Theses that only analyze data were not considered problematic.) Others recommended that students earn degrees by analyzing data from an experiment that is already running while building apparatus for an experiment that will run after they get their degrees. To alleviate problems of complexity, one faculty-level interviewee insisted that students, once they had enough data, return to campus and write their theses in isolation from the technicalities of the experiment and in the presence of a broader spectrum of scientific interests.
J. The National Laboratories.
1. Role of the Laboratories. Accelerator laboratories have always been responsible for delivering beam to the approved experiments and for supporting their own research groups. Collaborations have traditionally applied to the laboratories for beamtime but designed and built their detectors largely at their home institutions and without oversight from the laboratories. However, over the period covered in this study, a number of factors have contributed to shifting power and accountability from the university groups to the national laboratories-especially those of the DOE, but also at CERN. A decline in sophisticated laboratory and shop facilities at many colleges and universities has led to the fabrication of more detector components at the accelerator sites. Beginning in the late 1970s, the laboratories have had tighter control over experiments-at least the larger, more expensive ones. In the U.S.A., funding for building these experiments is more and more likely to come directly to the laboratories for distribution to the collaboration groups. There is a tendency, too, for laboratories to require that spokespersons on the larger experiments be selected from their own staffs or agree to spend the entire period of the data-gathering run on-site. Finally, most laboratories now require detailed contracts, often called MOUs (Memoranda of Understanding), covering the responsibilities of both the laboratory and each of the institutional members of collaborations for the performance of experiments. These findings provide strong indications of shifts of power and accountability.
2. Styles of Operation. The ability of experimenters to work harmoniously with a laboratory's staff was generally important, and particularly when some feature of a laboratory's beam made that laboratory the preferred site for the experiment. Virtually all users concur that relations with a laboratory's staff are facilitated by having physicists from the laboratory's research division in the collaboration, and university-based experiment-organizers consciously searched for laboratory collaborators.
SLAC, when compared to other laboratories, is invariably considered the least friendly to outside users and the most dominated by its in-house research groups. Fermilab, while considered relatively user-friendly, was criticized for providing too few services and leaving too much for experimenters to do. To some users, Brookhaven, the oldest of the laboratories, seemed encumbered by its traditions, rules, and fears over its long-term viability as a high-energy physics laboratory.
III. ARCHIVAL ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS [Back to Top]
The historical analysis summarized above described functions of multi-institutional collaborations and the activities they employed to carry out those functions. Our archival analysis coupled these with patterns of records creation, retention and destruction, and likely locations of records. In addition, we appraised records in terms of the quality of evidence they provided on the research process; we identified "core" records to be preserved for all collaborations; and we identified a wider set of records that should be saved to document experiments of high significance. We reviewed archival programs and records-keeping practices at accelerator sites, universities, and other laboratories. Finally, we developed a set of recommendations to promote preservation of valuable documentation and its future use by science administrators, policymakers, and historians and other scholars.
A. Records Created and Retained.
In multi-institutional collaborations some types of records are created by necessity: proposals, designs of detectors and components, purchase requisitions, experiment logbooks of data acquisition, data analysis records, progress and final narrative and financial reports, and-more recently (and not in all cases)-Letters of Agreement and Memoranda of Understanding specifying arrangements between the collaborations and the laboratories.
In addition to these operational records, individual physicists create two other categories of records: first, intra-collaboration mailings-including minutes, technical reports, and other memoranda-and second, notebooks and other files of individuals. Our interviews show that decisions to create these records to a large extent reflect the style and personal inclinations of individuals. This is particularly the case for their own notebooks and files, but it also affects the extent of intra-collaboration mailings. For this reason, the quality of written documentation varies greatly across collaborations with otherwise similar characteristics.
Particular circumstances affect the creation or retention of valuable documentation. These include size and geographical dispersal of institutions, the emergence of fax and electronic mail, communication with engineers, stage of the experiment, experiment results, whether or not the experiment is part of a "string," and whether or not the experiment could be used to examine multiple physics topics.
B. Location of Records.
Our site visits, interviews on selected experiments, and surveys of spokespersons show that the main locations of records are in the hands of spokespersons; at the laboratories; and, to a lesser extent, with group leaders.
Spokespersons have the most complete documentation of the collaborations' activities. With larger numbers of people and institutional members, the role of spokesperson has come to encompass managerial tasks. There is, for example, ample evidence that intra-collaboration mailings correlate with the larger, more recent collaborations; responsibility for such mailings falls largely on spokespersons. In addition, most spokespersons have some unique materials, e.g., correspondence with laboratory administrators and with collaboration group leaders. At the group level, records document their assigned responsibilities for detector components, data analysis, and the like.
The accelerator laboratories have always maintained files critical to our understanding of research conducted at their sites. These include records of laboratory directors and files of research and accelerator divisions. Most important for high-energy physics experiments are the files of their Physics Advisory Committees (PACs), the laboratory panels that review experiment proposals for beamtime and make recommendations to the laboratory. In addition to the proposals, correspondence, and recommendations that have been standard documents in the PAC files, the AIP study found that most laboratories, in the 1980s, began to create and keep other valuable records for some experiments. A most notable example is the more detailed contracts, often called MOUs (Memoranda of Understanding), covering the responsibilities of both the laboratory and each of the institutional members of collaborations.
The tendency for the laboratories to have tighter control over experiments-at least the larger, more expensive ones-locates additional valuable documentation at these sites. Hand in hand with direct funding for some experiments are fiscal and other reporting responsibilities-and records. If there is a shift toward selecting spokespersons from staff at the laboratories, the valuable collaboration files discussed above will be at the accelerator site. Finally, to the extent that fabrication of detector components is carried out at laboratory facilities rather than at colleges and universities, the laboratories will be the location for many technical records.
C. Guidelines for Appraisal of Records.
Guidelines for the appraisal of records of collaborative research in high-energy physics were developed based on discussions with physicists, historical research, prior appraisal experience of the AIP Center, and review by the project's Working Group.
There are nine categories of records that form a core: taken together, they provide basic evidence of the process of collaborative research for virtually all experiments. Our investigation located all but two of the categories at the accelerator laboratories: laboratory directors' files, records of the PACs, proposals to the laboratories, contracts between laboratories and collaborations, accelerator or research division files on experiments, blueprints and specifications, and special databases on high-energy experiments and literature available at SLAC. Apart from the databases, most of these records were still in office space; however, the laboratories obviously had some appreciation of their value and retained them all. We have confidence that they will eventually be preserved in laboratory archives and made available for research use.
Two other categories of records are on our list of core items: Ph.D. theses and proposals (including narrative and financial reports) to funding agencies. As Ph.D. theses are already being adequately retained, the main problem that remains is to get DOE and NSF to secure their proposal files for high-energy physics and see to their eventual transfer to the National Archives.
The project's appraisal guidelines cover additional records that should be saved for experiments of major significance. The records should also be saved for some experiments that can serve as typical or representative of a period or category of experiment since these will be of high interest to future historians, sociologists, and other users. The additional records include intra-collaboration mailings, professional papers of individuals (e.g., correspondence and notebooks), experiment ("running") logbooks, and documentation for especially novel or important detector components and techniques. Another important finding is that raw data, and even data summary tapes, are not useful to researchers once the needs of the particular collaboration have been met.
D. Current Institutional Archival Practices.
Institutional archival policies are the key to the preservation of documentation. The two settings for American members of high-energy physics collaborations during our period of study were academia and Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), commonly called government-contract laboratories.
On the academic side there is a long-standing tradition (at least in English-speaking countries) of documenting full careers of outstanding faculty. However, it is not yet clear how receptive academic archivists will be to the idea of documenting outstanding multi-institutional collaborations. The discussions held during this project with academic archivists, and the AIP's previous experience with academic archives, lead us to believe we will have the greatest success where the aims of documenting significant collaborations overlap with the academic archives' aims of documenting significant careers. In such cases, academic archivists may also be willing to secure some related notebooks, technical materials, and proposal files of their institutional high-energy physics groups.
The American accelerator laboratories we studied are all FFRDCs. BNL, FNAL, and SLAC are DOE laboratories, while Cornell's Newman Laboratory (and its CESR accelerator) is an NSF laboratory. While DOE and NSF headquarters records are both Federal (and therefore fall under the domain of the National Archives and Records Administration), the records created by their contract laboratories are different: the DOE laboratories' records are Federal, but those of the NSF laboratories are not. Arrangements have been initiated to have Cornell University's Department of Manuscript and University Archives serve as the repository for the records of the Newman Laboratory. The AIP Center has had previous experience with the DOE national laboratories. During this study we found that virtually all of these laboratories had improved their records management programs and-far more important-already had either well-established or emerging archival programs. Where full professional programs are in place, archivists play a key role in records retention decisions.
Our main concern with the laboratories is to secure the additional documentation needed for especially significant experiments. We commend CERN and SLAC for initiating policies to secure valuable files documenting selected experiments conducted at their sites; we urge the other laboratories to consider this approach. We are also worried about what will happen when files at one laboratory document an experiment conducted at another laboratory; it would be a serious loss if the laboratories consider such files outside their domain of responsibility and fail to make appropriate arrangements for their preservation.
The issue-for both academic and laboratory archives-as to where documentation of significant experiments should be located rests on the understanding of ownership and primary responsibility. Ownership is particularly rigorous when the records are Federal. But academic archives may question why they should save collaboration-wide records when their faculty was only one of a number of institutional groups on an experiment. Similarly, laboratory archives may question saving collaboration records when most of the files document work carried out at other institutions-and particularly when data-collection was done at another accelerator laboratory. If we are to document significant multi-institutional collaborations without undue duplication of effort, the community will need to develop a broader sense of responsibility and cooperation.
Our investigation of records keeping at agency headquarters was not extensive. However, we did learn that the DOE's History Office has virtually no documentation on laboratory operations, let alone experimental research conducted at these sites. At the NSF, on the other hand, we found some valuable files, such as reports of NSF site visits to Cornell, in the office of the High-Energy Program of the Physics Division; steps are being taken to secure these files for eventual transfer to the National Archives. We also know that NSF Headquarters now schedules successful proposals (along with narrative and fiscal reports) for transfer to the Archives. The DOE should initiate a similar policy. Finally, both DOE & NSF should retain rejected proposals for accelerators, accelerator upgrades, and major detectors and at least a random sample of rejected proposals for experiments from university or laboratory groups.
The AIP Center's knowledge of archival situations in foreign countries is quite limited, especially outside of Canada and-to some extent-the United Kingdom. There seems to be far less activity directed toward preserving important documentation of postwar science abroad than in the U.S.A. We found only a very few cases where European university archives seem receptive to preserving papers of distinguished high-energy physicists. In addition, most government-funded research laboratories in Europe lack archival programs altogether.
E. Application of Project Recommendations.
Since all the experiments studied by the AIP are from the recent past, our findings do not necessarily apply to patterns of records destruction that may take place sometime after experiments are completed. Like other groups, most physicists only keep documents if they think they will be useful to them. Good records-keeping may be acknowledged by all as necessary while the experimental process is alive, but when the experiment is over, records can easily be neglected, forgotten, or destroyed. A decade from now, many, if not most, of the records located by the AIP project may well be gone. To be most effective in documenting multi-institutional collaborations, future archival efforts should take place during the brief period of years when the records-keeping needs of the scientific collaboration coincide with the goals of archivists.
PART B: PROJECT RECOMMENDATIONS [Back to Top]
The following recommendations are directed specifically to the actions needed to document collaborative research in high-energy physics. They are justified in more detail in Report No. 2: Documenting Collaborations in High-Energy Physics. Most of the documents referred to are currently on paper, but our recommendations also apply to information in electronic format.
Project findings and these recommendations illustrate some complexities involved in documenting past experiments, especially in locating valuable files. Accordingly, the most important recommendation urges a new approach to securing the documentation for future experiments. We suggest that, once an experiment has been approved, the accelerator laboratory should ask the spokesperson to identify one of the collaboration members who would be responsible for its collaboration-wide records. In addition-where historical significance warrants-individuals should be named to be responsible for group-level documentation of innovative components or techniques. This information should be incorporated into the laboratory's contractual agreement with the collaboration. Use of this simple mechanism would assist archivists by assuring that records will be available for appraisal and by providing information on their location.
Recommendations covering the broader responsibilities of DOE National Laboratories and other nonacademic physics laboratories-for example, documenting accelerator facilities or areas beyond high-energy physics-are available from the AIP Center.
Recommendation No. 1:
LABORATORIES LACKING PROFESSIONAL ARCHIVAL PROGRAMS SHOULD INITIATE THEM.
The laboratories in our study constitute the four major sites for high-energy physics experiments in the U.S.A.-the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), CESR accelerator at Cornell University's Newman Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) -and one major site abroad, the CERN laboratory in Geneva. Our experience shows it is possible to preserve an adequate record of high-energy research where laboratories, such as SLAC, have professional archival programs and impossible where laboratories, such as Brookhaven, lack them. Records officers cannot select records of value on their own; professional archivists are needed to secure those records of interest to future managers, historians, and others. Once programs are in place, archivists develop relationships of trust and provide an array of invaluable services to laboratory staff and management. The records they preserve are the best means to achieve the all-important institutional memory.
This recommendation to establish archival programs covers the accelerator laboratories we studied, other accelerator laboratories-such as DESY in Germany, KEK in Japan, and Dubna in the former Soviet Union-that are major centers for high-energy research, other laboratories that develop major detector components or are among the largest users of accelerator laboratory facilities-such as the Rutherford Laboratory in England, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in the U.S.A., and Saclay in France. Our concern here is for the presence of professional archivists rather than permanent retention of archives on laboratory sites. Some laboratories in some countries are required to transfer permanent records to state or federal repositories. At some smaller accelerator facilities, such as those of the Newman Laboratory at Cornell University, adequate professional care for the records may be provided by the university archives.
In the U.S.A., records created by the DOE laboratories are federal in ownership; those of long-term value are transferred eventually to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). To meet these responsibilities NARA and DOE Headquarters should urge the establishment of professional archival programs at the DOE laboratories. At the same time it seems clear that the chief responsibility for initiating these programs lies with the individual laboratory directors.
Recommendation No. 2:
PROPOSALS AND RELATED DOCUMENTATION SHOULD BE SECURED BY DOE AND NSF.
For major detectors and for building or upgrading accelerators, the DOE and the NSF should secure all accepted and rejected proposals, along with relevant correspondence. Files for successful proposals should also include financial and narrative progress reports, final reports, records of agency site visits, and any other materials that provide valuable documentation.
The DOE and the NSF also receive proposals for funding high-energy physics experiments (beyond the major detector experiments just referred to). These requests are submitted by each of the institutional groups participating in a collaboration (normally as part of a larger budget request by a unit of an academic physics department or a research group at a laboratory). Files on all successful proposals (including narrative and financial reports) and files on rejected proposals (or at least a random sampling of them) should be preserved. For highly significant experiments, the agencies should consider retaining additional records.
The NSF currently schedules successful, but not rejected, proposals as permanent records. At the DOE, policies to secure any of these important files are nonexistent. The DOE administrator and the NSF program officer in charge of high-energy physics should see to it that this project recommendation is followed and that the files are eventually transferred to the National Archives.
Recommendation No. 3:
PROFESSIONAL FILES OF KEY STAFF MEMBERS SHOULD BE PRESERVED BY THEIR INSTITUTIONAL ARCHIVES.
For some decades now, it has been traditional-especially in English-speaking countries-for professional files of academic scientists to be preserved in their institutional archives. Those papers most frequently sought are of individuals who have made major contributions to science or science policy on a national or international level or to their university. Professional papers of distinguished experimentalists and theorists in high-energy physics are normally included in this tradition.
There are two principal targets for this recommendation. First, university archives in all countries should have policies to secure files documenting the professional careers of their key scientists. Second, similar policies are sorely lacking at virtually all research laboratories and other nonacademic institutions-both in the U.S.A. and elsewhere; they should be initiated and supported by laboratory directors.
Recommendation No. 4:
A CORE SET OF RECORDS SHOULD BE PRESERVED BY ACCELERATOR LABORATORIES FOR ALL EXPERIMENTS IN HIGH-ENERGY PHYSICS.
There is a short list of records that, taken together, provide adequate documentation for most multi-institutional experiments in high-energy physics. These include: records of laboratory directors responsible for high-energy physics, records documenting the proposal process and the laboratory's technical support for experiments, blueprints and other drawings and specifications, and summary financial records. A rough estimate of the bulk of these records per experiment (kept at various locations at the laboratories) would be about three linear feet for a typical experiment and about ten linear feet or more for a large experiment.
Except for financial records, the DOE laboratories traditionally retain these core records; we ask now that the records be scheduled for permanent retention by the laboratory archivist or records officer and that the noncurrent files be secured in archival settings. We urge other laboratories to take steps necessary to locate and preserve these essential records.
Recommendation No. 5:
ACCELERATOR LABORATORIES SHOULD ASSIST IN THE IDENTIFICATION OF SIGNIFICANT AND REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIMENTS.
Future historians and other scholars will want to study some experiments in greater detail, primarily those of high significance, but also those that are of great value because they can serve as typical or representative of a period or category of experiment for high-energy physics. Hereafter, we refer to both categories of selected experiments as "significant." For these few experiments, a fuller range of documentation should be available.
The high-energy physics community in general and the physicists and research directors at accelerator laboratories in particular are best informed to identify those experiments that are likely to be considered significant by future judgements. The AIP plans to employ citation studies and other mechanisms to help target significant experiments from the past; input from the laboratories will be essential. But efforts to document events from earlier decades are frustrated by frailties of records-keeping practices. Therefore, we urge the laboratories to identify as early as possible current experiments of potential significance. An excellent mechanism is a laboratory archival advisory committee-made up of research directors and others closely associated with the high-energy program; laboratories that do not have these committees may choose to initiate them or, alternatively, simply convene such a group every few years to consider candidate experiments. University groups should also participate in the selection. The DOE's High Energy Physics Advisory Panel should consider forming a subpanel that could play a constructive role; the subpanel could periodically invite accelerator laboratories and university groups to propose experiments and then make recommendations as to which experiments should be more fully documented. Depending upon the laboratory and the number of experiments conducted, some three to ten experiments per decade would be selected.
The early identification of current experiments of high significance should initiate actions to secure full documentation for subsequent appraisal. For example, laboratory research directors responsible for high-energy physics should make sure that spokespersons take steps to secure records of potential historical value. This documentation would include those categories of records specified in the appraisal guidelines prepared by the AIP study and other records found to contain valuable evidence of the collaboration's organizational structure and research process.
The laboratory and spokesperson should consider employing new technologies that could assist in the capture, retention, and access to valuable evidence. For example, the laboratories could retain certain files, such as e-mail, bulletin boards, and other electronic records, on the laboratory's computer system.
Finally, the emergence, during the last few years, of subcontractors for major research and development in high-energy physics has become clear. The laboratories can play a central role by identifying experiments in which significant contracts should be documented-either by the laboratory, the subcontractor, or a combination of both.
Recommendation No. 6:
FOR SIGNIFICANT EXPERIMENTS, CORRESPONDENCE OF SPOKESPERSONS AND GROUP LEADERS SHOULD BE PRESERVED AT THEIR INSTITUTIONAL ARCHIVES.
Correspondence between group leaders and between group leaders and spokespersons are likely to be more candid than exchanges shared with other members of the collaboration. In addition, these files are likely sources for evidence of institutional budgetary considerations and fund-raising relating to the experiment. Spokespersons are liable to have significant contacts with the accelerator laboratories.
Laboratory and university archivists should determine whether these correspondence files should be kept as part of the group records for the significant experiment or as part of the full professional files of the individual group leader or spokesperson. Accelerator laboratory archives should serve as a repository for correspondence files that would otherwise be destroyed.
Recommendation No. 7:
FOR SIGNIFICANT EXPERIMENTS, Intra-collaboration MAILINGS SHOULD BE PRESERVED AT THE MOST APPROPRIATE REPOSITORY.
These files provide the most valuable documentation of the organizational structure and research process of multi-institutional collaborations in high-energy physics. During the period covered by the AIP study-the 1970s and '80s-intra-collaboration mailings have become the standard procedure for virtually all experiments. Among these mailings, the most common records are correspondence and memoranda, technical reports, and transparencies; many files also contain minutes of meetings, organization charts, and various other documents. These records are compact and increasingly found as a numbered, chronological set of "memoranda."
The most appropriate repository for an experiment's intra-collaboration mailings will-in most cases-be the institutional archives of the spokesperson. There will be exceptions. The best set of these mailings may be in the possession of a group leader or yet another member of the collaboration; in such cases, it may prove most reasonable to preserve the best set in the archives of the institution where they naturally repose. Also, some accelerator laboratories may serve as the repository for the spokesperson's files when he or she is not on laboratory staff. In some cases, this will be based on legal ownership of the records (e.g., the funding for the experiment was provided through a DOE National Laboratory). In other cases, the laboratory may serve as the repository where the spokesperson's home institution will not or cannot preserve the files. Finally, when a significant experiment or string of experiments has had several spokespersons, it may be desirable to find just one repository for the intra-collaboration mailings; the laboratory archives will often be the obvious choice. In short, the determination of the most appropriate repository will have to be made on a case by case basis.
Recommendation No. 8:
FOR SIGNIFICANT EXPERIMENTS, EXPERIMENT (OR "RUNNING") LOGBOOKS SHOULD BE PRESERVED AT ACCELERATOR LABORATORIES.
Of all the logbooks generated by experiments, the experiment (or "running") logbook kept by the full collaboration is the single most important. It tracks the overall functioning of the detector and provides the best chronology of data-gathering. It provides the best evidence of the start-up of a new facility, or a major performance improvement, as well as key experimental runs. Accelerator laboratories should preserve the "record copy" of experiment logbooks in their archives. Collaborations should microfilm or otherwise photocopy their experiment logbooks when a copy is needed to meet the needs of groups during the data analysis phase.
Recommendation No. 9:
FOR SOME SIGNIFICANT EXPERIMENTS, SOME ADDITIONAL LOGBOOKS AND OTHER TECHNICAL RECORDS SHOULD BE PRESERVED AT APPROPRIATE REPOSITORIES.
In addition to the experiment logbook shared by the entire collaboration, experiments generate a variety of logbooks-such as logbooks on specific components of the detector and analysis logbooks. Virtually all of these logbooks document work on the group level. Notes of physicists and engineers developing detector components provide a valuable aid in reconstructing the assembly of equipment and problems in design, maintenance, and modification. In some cases, these will be in the traditional form of notebooks kept by individuals; in other cases, the records are more likely to be found in memoranda at the institutional group level of the collaboration. Some of these materials should be preserved for experiments with significant or novel components or techniques.
A judgement will have to be made, on a case by case basis, taking into account the significance or novelty of the particular component and the group's technical contribution to the collaboration, as to which of these logbooks, notebooks, or intra-group memoranda should be preserved. Guidance should be provided by those knowledgeable about the experiment, including spokespersons, group leaders, and research directors at the laboratories. Institutional archivists-at universities and laboratories-should preserve these records of archival value along with other group records on the experiment. Accelerator laboratories should serve as a repository for records of external groups when such records would otherwise be destroyed.
Recommendation No. 10:
FOR SIGNIFICANT EXPERIMENTS, PERSONAL NOTEBOOKS ON EXPERIMENTS SHOULD BE LOCATED AND PRESERVED AT APPROPRIATE REPOSITORIES.
Individual members of collaborations continue to create personal notebooks that provide unique perspectives on collaborative experiments. These should be located and preserved in archives at institutions with which such individuals are affiliated. In some cases, the notebooks of an individual should be kept along with other files he or she may have of archival value, especially when the files form part of the papers of someone who has played a key role in physics in general. In other cases, archivists will find it more appropriate to preserve notebooks of individuals on a given experiment along with other technical records of the group (perhaps in microfilm format). Again, the archives of the accelerator laboratory should serve as the repository for notebooks that would otherwise be destroyed.
Recommendation No. 11:
ACCELERATOR LABORATORIES SHOULD SET UP A MECHANISM TO SECURE RECORDS OF FUTURE SIGNIFICANT EXPERIMENTS.
As illustrated by Recommendations No. 5-10, locating and preserving the additional records needed to document the more significant experiments will be complex for past and current experiments. Accelerator laboratories can easily reduce the future complexity by setting up a mechanism to identify and secure records during or prior to their creation. For example, since the late 1970s, major experiments at CERN (like those now running at LEP) have secretariats which circulate all internal memoranda, keep minutes of meetings records of technical reports generated inside the collaboration, and transparencies, etc. They also keep a record of all publications and stocks of offprints. We recommend a mechanism that would provide even broader protection for records of significant experiments.
Once a proposal for an experiment is approved, the accelerator laboratory should require a collaboration to include in their next write-up a statement as to (1) which individual collaboration member should be responsible for collaboration-wide records and (2) which, if any, records on the institutional group level should be retained on a long-term basis (with responsibility assigned). The AIP will provide the laboratory with a summary listing of valuable records to aid the collaboration in preparing its statement. When assigning responsibility for collaboration-wide records to an individual, the spokesperson should consider the most permanent office; in many cases, this will be at the accelerator laboratory.
The spokesperson knows at the outset when the detector or a particular component or technique is revolutionary or innovative; appropriate identification and assignment of records responsibilities for these should be included. The collaboration's statement about records-keeping responsibilities should be incorporated in its memoranda of understanding or other contractual agreement with the accelerator laboratory.
The purpose of this recommendation is to secure the records that may be needed to document significant experiments. Later, when an experiment has been identified as significant (No. 5), archivists will be in an excellent position to contact the individuals assigned responsibility for the records and make arrangements to preserve those of enduring value.
Recommendation No. 12:
INSTITUTIONAL ARCHIVES SHOULD SHARE INFORMATION ON THEIR RELEVANT HOLDINGS WITH EACH OTHER AND WITH THE AIP.
Knowledge of institutional records and professional papers of individuals is essential to foster use by historians and other scholars. For example, papers documenting a particular experiment are likely to be physically located in various repositories; shared catalogs will bring them together intellectually for the user. Archivists should include sufficient facts-such as accelerator laboratory and experiment number or title-to identify the experiments documented in their collections when they prepare inventories, scope and content notes (or any other descriptions), and indexes.
One means for archivists to broadcast information on their holdings is to send descriptions of collections or records series to the AIP where they will be added to the International Catalog of Sources for History of Physics and Allied Sciences, maintained by the AIP Center for History of Physics. In cases where the archives itself does not report its holdings to the American database RLIN-AMC (the Research Libraries Information Network-Archives and Manuscript Control) of the Research Libraries Group, the AIP can provide this service.
The Role of the AIP Center
The AIP Center can play a facilitating role in a number of these recommendations. It can work with accelerator laboratories by: (1) providing advice to those that decide to establish or upgrade archival programs, (2) aiding in the process of identifying significant experiments, and (3) assisting laboratory advisory committees in such areas as identifying appropriate repositories for papers and records documenting significant experiments. The AIP Center will continue its work with laboratory, academic, and other institutional archivists to preserve significant papers and records and to provide advice on records appraisal. In addition to its International Catalog of Sources, the Center offers, upon request, such cataloging tools as topical indexing terms and authorized names of thousands of individuals and institutions.
 See especially Part B: "Archival Findings: Analysis and Future Actions" and Part D: "Guidelines for the Appraisal of Records.
 See Joan N. Warnow with Allan Needell, Spencer Weart, and Jane Wolff, A Study of Preservation of Documents at Department of Energy Laboratories (New York: American Institute of Physics, 1982).
 There are two additional categories of records on our core list, namely theses and databases on SPIRES. There is no need to ask the laboratories to retain theses: they are traditionally preserved by the universities to which they were submitted. We do ask the labortories to obtain a listing of theses for each experiment. The two SPIRES databases-the Experiments Database and the HEP Publications Database-are available through SLAC.
 Recommendations No. 5 through 10 cover types of records that should be preserved for significant experiments and that will require special action on the part of the archivists and others at the laboratories and universities.
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