Where Have All the Scientific Data Gone? LIS Perspective on the Data-At-Risk Predicament

Cheryl A. Thompson, W. Davenport Robertson, Jane Greenberg


Scientists produce vast amounts of data that often are not preserved properly or do not have inventories, placing them at risk. As part of an effort to more fully understand the data-at-risk predicament, researchers who were engaged in the DARI project at UNC’s Metadata Research Center surveyed information custodians working in a range of settings. The survey collected information on the data characteristics and preservation plans. Forty-three information custodians completed the survey. The results indicate that at-risk data include a variety of formats, subject areas, and ownership status, as well as compliance with a variety of standards. Although a majority of respondents agree that data preservation is important, they caution that time is the greatest barrier to sharing these data. The study has implications for data rescue and for training information custodians.

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Copyright ©2014 Cheryl A. Thompson, W. Davenport Robertson, and Jane Greenberg, Attribution-NonCommercial (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) CC BY-NC

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