Chris L. Greer
U.S. National Science Foundation
It is exceedingly rare that fundamentally new approaches to research and education arise. Information technology has ushered in such a fundamental change. Digital data collections are at the heart of this change. Through their very size and complexity, such digital collections provide new phenomena for study, enable analysis at unprecedented levels of accuracy and sophistication, and provide novel insights through innovative information integration. At the same time, such collections are a powerful force for inclusion, removing barriers to participation at all ages and levels of education.
The National Science Board recognizes the growing importance of these data collections for research and education, their potential for broadening participation in research at all levels, the ever increasing National Science Foundation investment in creating and maintaining the collections, and the rapid multiplication of collections with a potential for decades of curation. In response the Board formed the Long-Lived Data Collections Task Force. The Board and the task force undertook an analysis of the policy issues relevant to long-lived data collections. This briefing will summarize some of the findings arising from that analysis.