The Second International Conference on Permanent Access to Records of Science was recently held in Brussels to try to combat the problem of maintaining accessibility to digital data. This year’s gathering launched the Alliance for Permanent Access.
Since the 1960s vast amounts of digital data, including the first e-mails and 13,000 NASA tape recordings of the first mission to the moon, have been lost. Scientific data now measured in petabytes has been produced through increasingly complex experiments that often take place on a global scale. The questions is can the world afford to lose this data?
The Alliance brings together international scientific organizations and libraries to create a European digital information infrastructure. The next steps for the Alliance include the creation of a forum on preservation and access and developing a handbook of best practices. The Alliance is also hoping to secure funding to develop tools from available European Union programs.