Through the SAICM Information Clearing House, the Secretariat maintains links to information relevant to chemicals management maintained at external sites. The Secretariat considers and selects sites for inclusion in the ICH on a case-by-case basis, using criteria established in this policy document and any future guidance and advice provided by its collaborators. External requests to include links to specific sites are evaluated using the same criteria.
The objective of this policy is to provide guidance on creating and maintaining related links and documents on the SAICM Information Clearing House.
The SAICM Information Clearing House has a general function related to exchange of information. Recognizing that information across a wide range of disciplines may be relevant and useful, potential sources of information available through Internet websites and mailing lists are generally categorized as follows:
1. Intergovernmental Organizations ñ organizations that include governments in their membership.
2. Government ñ any official government website.
3. Non-Governmental Organizations ñ Relevant non-profit organizations representing civil society and not governments.
4. Industry and Private Sector ñ this group includes individual companies as well as organizations representing industry.
5. Research Institutions ñ relevant research centres.
6. Databases, Libraries and Search Engines ñ any specific library or search engine that is relevant to SAICM implementation, regardless of its sponsorship or affiliation.
7. Journals ñ any specific journal or publication that is directly relevant to SAICM, regardless of its sponsorship or affiliation.
8. Risk Assessment Guidance Documents.
To be selected for inclusion in the Information Clearing House website, links must meet the essential criteria specified below, and preferably one or more of the following additional criteria:
When evaluating the suitability for inclusion of each specific site, the essential criteria are:
Relevance: Only information of direct relevance to SAICM will be considered for inclusion. Specific fields of relevance include, but are not necessarily limited to: risk assessment, risk management, capacity-building, handling, transport, packaging and identification, information sharing, public awareness and participation, social and economic development considerations.
Neutrality: All sites will be given equal consideration for inclusion in the Information Clearing House
Multidisciplinarity: Efforts will be made to ensure that the selection of sites available through the Information Clearing House will address all fields relevant to implementation of SAICM
Quality: Quality of information will be considered in terms of the following factors: Credibility - The person or organization maintaining a site should be readily identifiable and contactable for users seeking additional information or wishing to provide feedback. Accuracy - The data that underlie the conclusions presented should be clearly identified, and scientific evidence that supports a position should be clearly stated. If possible, sources of the information should also be disclosed. Timeliness - The date of the original document on which the information is based and the date of posting on the Web should be provided, to enable the user to judge the currency of the information.
Additional instructions or criteria may be established in the future by the SAICM Secretariat.
Where possible, included sites should also meet the following criteria for inclusion in the related links section of the Information Clearing House:
Design: The site should be logically organized and easy to navigate, and have a clear, uncluttered interface;
Unique Content: The site should provide information that is not readily available elsewhere, or provide an unusual depth of information;
Disclosure: Appropriate disclosures, including the purpose of the site, as well as any sources of sponsorship or funding should be provided, as well as other connections with commercial or other organizations.
Exclusion of sites
Where possible, the SAICM Information Clearing House does not include links to the following:
Sites that contain offensive, inflammatory or illegal material; sites that require service/user charges; sites existing mainly to advertise products; individual personal websites; sites that substantially contain subjective opinion.
Removal of sites
A site may be removed if it no longer meets the criteria outlined in this policy document.
The Secretariat will maintain links to related information on the Information Clearing House. Sites will be considered on a case-by-case basis, using criteria established in this policy document and any further guidance by SAICMís collaborators and over-sight bodies. External requests to add specific links will be evaluated using the same criteria. The list of links will aim to be as comprehensive as possible, but by no means exhaustive or all-inclusive. The criteria for inclusion in the related sites are made available through the Information Clearing House.
Quality Control and Responsibility
The Secretariat will not take any responsibility for the accuracy of specific information contained on any websites linked to the Information Clearing House, nor for any consequences resulting from the use of such information by third parties.