DUBLIN, Ohio, September 19, 2007-The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are funding a blue-ribbon task force to address the issue of economic sustainability for digital preservation and persistent access.
The Task Force will be co-chaired by Fran Berman, director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center at University of California, San Diego and a pioneer in data cyberinfrastructure; and Brian Lavoie, an economist with strong interests in data preservation, and research scientist with OCLC Programs and Research, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access will also include support by the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the Joint Information Systems Committee of the United Kingdom.
"Digital information illuminates our world, and modern life, work, education, and research depend on it," said Christopher L. Greer, program director in NSF's Office of Cyberinfrastructure. "The time to act is now to ensure the digital information is reliably available as an engine for progress in our global knowledge society and to secure our digital heritage for future generations."
"It is impossible to imagine success in the Information Age without the availability of our most valuable digital information when we want it now and in the future," said Dr. Berman. "It's critical for our society to have a long-term strategic plan for sustaining digital data and we are excited about the potential of the Task Force to help form that plan."
"Persistent access to digital information over long periods of time is vital for the future progress of research, education, and private enterprise," said Dr. Lavoie. "In addition to developing sound technical processes for preserving digital information, we must also ensure that our preservation strategies are economically sustainable.
The work of the Task Force will be an important step toward achieving that goal."
Dr. Berman and Dr. Lavoie will convene an international group of prominent leaders to develop actionable recommendations on economic sustainability of digital information for the science and engineering, cultural heritage, public and private sectors. The Task Force is expected to meet over the next two years and gather testimony from a broad set of thought leaders in preparation for the Task Force's Final Report.
Though significant progress has been made to overcome the technical challenges of achieving persistent access to digital resources, the economic challenges remain.
In its final report, the Task Force is charged with developing a comprehensive analysis of current issues, and actionable recommendations for the future to catalyze the development of sustainable resource strategies for the reliable preservation of digital information. During its tenure, the Task Force also will produce a series of articles about the challenges and opportunities of digital information preservation, for both the scholarly community and the public.
About the San Diego Supercomputer Center
Founded in 1985, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) enables international science and engineering discoveries through advances in computational science and high performance computing. For more information, visit http://www.sdsc.edu/index.html.
Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit library service and research organization that has provided computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing, eContent and preservation services to 60,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories. OCLC and its member libraries worldwide have created and maintain WorldCat, the world's richest online resource for finding library materials. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.