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Means of dissemination

21.27.    Both data and metadata can be disseminated in various formats and by various means. The present Guide advises that the statistics compiled within the framework for describing the international supply of services be made available to users through the electronic databases maintained by the responsible agency.[1] An efficient use of information technology may also simplify the production of statistical publications, whether in electronic or paper form. 


21.29.    Web-based electronic publications can also contain data and metadata presented in html format, as a downloadable document (e.g., PDF) or a spreadsheet. Internet access is clearly a key consideration when assessing user accessibility and the additional publication of some data sets in a printed format. It should be considered in those areas in which Internet access is limited or lack of bandwidth would make downloading the data too slow. (See chapter 20, section C, for more information on data and metadata dissemination.)


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[1] Such databases should: (a) allow free and equal access to all users to any data record considered part of official trade in services statistics; (b) contain an extensive metadata and knowledge base; (c) allow for easy querying, with a user-friendly interface on the entire database, and for downloading query results in commonly-used data formats, such as spreadsheets and comma-delimited text files, thus reducing the need for personalized handling of most data requests and greatly enhancing the efficiency of data dissemination.