20 Nov 2007   |   News

Move to preserve computer archives of science

The European Science Foundation is joining forces with knowledge-based organisations to preserve access to scientific information in computer formats that are fast becoming obsolete.

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The European Science Foundation (ESF) is joining forces with 11 knowledge-based organisations to preserve and provide access to scientific information currently stored in computer formats that are fast becoming obsolete.

The Alliance for Permanent Access to the Digital Records of Science has been set up to create a viable and sustainable European infrastructure for access to the records of science. Speaking at a conference on the issue last week, Ian Halliday of the ESF said, “Like many other sectors, science has become completely dependent on digital information. This dependence also comes with a number of major risks because of the many unresolved challenges in the long-term preservation and access to this information.”

The ESF has pledged to be at the forefront in moves to address the problem. The vision is to enable scientific communities such as in the high-energy physics, Earth sciences and humanities to create information repositories, which will form their part of the infrastructure. At the same time the Alliance will work to agree a set of common standards, to make the repositories interoperable.


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