Scientific research has always relied on communication for gathering and providing access to data; for exchanging information; for holding discussions, meetings, and seminars; for collaborating with widely dispersed researchers; and for disseminating results. The pace and complexity of modern research, especially collaborations of researchers in different institutions, has dramatically increased scientists' communications needs. Scientists now need immediate access to data and information, to colleagues and collaborators, and to advanced computing and information services. Furthermore, to be really useful, communication facilities must be integrated with the scientist's normal day-to-day working environment. Scientists depend on computing and communications tools and are handicapped without them.
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