Tribology is being increasingly recognized as a critical discipline that can play a key role in raising the level of U.S. competitiveness. The transfer of tribology research information into general engineering practice can be made quickly and efficiently by the computerizing of tribology data. The tribology community has been participating in an international effort to centralize and computerize tribology data that goes beyond the establishment of bibliographic data bases. The community is developing a computerized tribology information system as a self-sustaining activity, with government providing the initial funding for research and prototype construction of a PC-based system that contains six data-base components: numeric, design, newsletter, research-in-progress, bibliography, and product and services directory. The numeric data base, which contains ‘best judgment‘ values compiled by experts, and the design data base, which contains validated design programs, are being developed in the first two years of a six-year program. These two data bases present a formidable technical challenge, since not only must they be self-contained, but they must also interact.