The PARSE.Insight project survey report published.

The PARSE.Insight project just published a fantastic report on the current state of affairs in the preservation of research data. Nearly 2,000 people responded from the research, publishing, and data management stakeholder groups.

There are a few statistics that are of particular interest to me:

• Researchers regard the lack of sustainable hardware, software or support of computer environment may make the information inaccessible as the most important threat to digital preservation. 80% believe this to be either important or very important.
• Data managers also regard the lack of sustainable hardware, software or support of computer environment may make the information inaccessible as the most important threat to digital preservation. 86% believe this to be either important or very important.
• 59% of the respondents to the data managers’ survey don’t think that the tools and infra-structure available to them will suffice for the digital preservation objectives they have to achieve.
• 71% of the respondents to the data managers’ survey believe that funding for preservation will be an issue now and in five years time.

What I am taking from this, and perhaps bending to my own purposes, is that there is a reported need for inexpensive tools which can ameliorate the problems associated with a perceived lack of hardware, software, and computer environment support.

Of course, there are a number of other very important discoveries reported here, but this is what is the most relevant to me. Good stuff!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The PARSE.Insight project survey report published.

  1. Digital preservation faces a greater risk of complete loss over the long term than more traditional preservation. If a monastery lost funding, all that was necessary was to find a place to store the old books and scrolls. A lot might disappear, but some would be saved. Nobody had to do anything except leave the archive alone.

    Digital preservation faces the risk of losing all of an archive’s content if active maintenance stops for a few years.

    • longtermdata

      Oh yes, I absolutely agree. Which is why the fact that 71% of the respondents to the data managers’ survey believe that funding for preservation will be an issue now and in five years time is so worrisome.

      What we need to do now is to increase awareness of digital preservation issues so that those in position to make financial decisions understand what is at stake and what needs to be done to prevent the loss of important digital data.

    • longtermdata

      btw, Gary, great blog on File Formats! [http://fileformats.wordpress.com/]

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