25 No. 2
and information on IUPAC, its fellows, and members organizations
See also www.iupac.org/news
the Permanent Availability of the Digital Records of Science
- A Statement by the International Council for Scientific
and Technical Information
are excerpts from the ICSTIs statement on preserving
digital information released in December 2002:
the growing efforts of many of the varied stakeholders involved
in generating, organizing, and providing access to scientific
information and data, much of it in digital form is still
at risk of being lost to future generations. The same can
be said of the digital data collected over the past 40 years.
Data from the Viking mission to Mars is just one example
of expensively gathered, important information that has
already been lost. More needs to be done as a matter of
urgency to put in place systematic structures which can
ensure the long-term availability of the records of science
to all who need them, bearing in mind the special difficulties
that developing countries have in accessing digital publications."
ICSTI document describes succinctly the nature of the problem
and who can solve it and concludes with the following recommendations:
urges the International Council for Science and its scientific
Undertake for each of the scientific disciplines a high-level
audit of digital preservation policies and practices that
are now in place (ICSTI welcomes the lead taken by IUPAP
in proposing a system to monitor electronic publishing
and preservation practices in pure and applied physics.)
Work with the other key stakeholders in defining user
requirements for archives. Because scientific information
and data generation has a national as well as an international
It urges the National Academies to sponsor similar audits
on a national basis.
It recommends that all agencies funding scientific research
should formulate and publish policies on the preservation
of the research they fund.
recommends that all scientists undertaking research should
bear in mind the importance of the long-term preservation
of the data and information they generate and adopt such
standards as are recommended to facilitate this."
address questions and comments to Wendy A. Warr <email@example.com>,
IUPAC representative on the ICSTI.
last modified 6 March 2003.
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