Posted: 2 Sep 2013 | 19:20
A few months have gone by on the Pericles project (see my earlier post), more meetings have passed and more are coming up, but in between meetings, we do actually get some work done as well!
Preserving art, records and other items has been a challenge throughout history, not just how to store them but how to help future generations to understand them. Even in the short time digital art and records have been around, this problem has become increasingly apparent in modern technology. It is exacerbated by the rapid cycles that technology follows. Pericles is attempting to define and develop a framework or method to manage how digital data is stored in archives and how to keep the archives relevant and accessible. A small challenge it is not.
Posted: 22 Aug 2013 | 14:50
This post was written by Adrian Mouat, a former EPCC employee who is now an independent software consultant.
Citing a paper is a reasonably straightforward and well-defined task; just give a reference to the author and the publication you found the paper in and you're pretty much there. Anyone else who wants to look up the reference just has to find the publication and they should see exactly the same text you saw.
Unfortunately, citing datasets is not as simple, at least not if you want the security of knowing that readers who follow the citation will find exactly the same data you used.
Posted: 7 Aug 2013 | 11:56
Policy restrictions on data storage can make the straightforward technological problems complex, over-constrained and potentially insoluble.
Pic credit: Jeff Rowley Big Wave Surfer
As the slowly toppling wave of research data begins to overwhelm us all, we're increasingly looking for new ways to automate the management of all these bits. Keeping human curators and data managers in the loop becomes ever more unscalable and unsustainable. So, we're storing data in the Cloud, auto-replicating them five ways so we don't lose any, letting the systems manage the data for us.
Posted: 7 May 2013 | 13:52
How do we deal with technology change? Ever thought about accessing the stuff you did twenty years ago? What’s that? You are having a hard time getting a floppy disk drive? Maybe the data format is unreadable or the media has been damaged?
This is a problem that will continue to face us in many fields: how do you ensure that today’s data is still accessible in twenty or even fifty years' time? For a lot of areas, maybe we do not want to bother, it's the here and now that counts.
Posted: 1 May 2013 | 11:00
I've recently returned from a very interesting week-long tour of the southwestern USA. Work-related, of course. I and a handful of European colleagues from the EUDAT project were graciously hosted by three groups all engaged in data infrastructure work on the other side of the Atlantic.
After flying into what must be one of the world's smallest and cutest airports in Santa Fe, our first stop was Los Alamos National Lab and the Web science group led by Herbert Van de Sompel.
Posted: 21 Mar 2013 | 16:32
Monday 18th March, a chilly day in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the formal launch of the Research Data Alliance. With keynotes from EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes, Australian Ambassador to the EU Duncan Lewis and NSF Director of Computer and Information Science and Engineering Farnam Jahanian this was a significant event, and indication of the importance that policy makers and funders are now attaching to the management of, and access to, research data worldwide.