Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1993


Published in Great Plains Research 3:1 (February 1993), pp. 138-139. Copyright © 1993 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


For most of us collecting, compiling, and drawing inferences from data are never-ending activities. Some data-based decisions, such as decisions of a driver who observes and responds to a traffic control device, can be readily completed. Others, e.g., decisions that adjudicate stream flow among competing users, can require complex and protracted decision processes. The capability of a society to make sound data-based decisions is founded on accurate and timely data that are readily available without undue cost. The presumption that such data are not presently available to persons working with rural problems, issues, and policies provides the guiding thesis of this book.