[Taxacom] CODATA Task Group: Data at Risk

Guentsch, Anton a.guentsch at bgbm.org
Mon Jul 4 09:31:28 CDT 2011

Dear Taxacomers,

I would like to draw your attention to the CODATA Task Group "Data at Risk", which was approved by the last CODATA General Assembly in Cape Town on October, 29th 2010 (see http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101102/full/468017a.html).

'Data at Risk' is an interdisciplinary approach to collect information on scientific data repositories that are at risk of getting lost by whatever cause. This includes data in a "pre-digital" form (e.g. photo-plates, card-files) but also data on outdated electronic media and data which are threatened due to a lack of proper digital curation and documentation. The results of this inventory will be made publicly available and may serve as a basis for fund-raising and preservation activities.

The 'Data at Risk' Task Group members cover a broad range of scientific disciplines including Computer Science, Astronomy, Geology, Oceanology, and Geography, and I am pleased about the opportunity to serve as the main contact to the Natural History community.

As a first step in this role, I would like to take a rather unstructured approach by gathering "stories" about threatened data repositories related to Natural History. This phase will then be followed by a more structured compilation of data repositories at risk including information on geographic and taxonomic coverage, storage media, data models, "risk factor", etc. 

At this point, I am very much dependent on your assistance and I would like to ask for your valuable help and input in this matter: If you know of any data repositories which are at risk of getting lost for any reason, please contact me (a.guentsch[at]bgbm.org) and let me know the story. I promise not to bother you with any lengthy questionnaires and please be assured that all information will be kept confidential if desired.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.


// Anton Güntsch
// Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem
// Dept. of Biodiversity Informatics and Laboratories
// Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8, D-14195 Berlin, Germany
// Phone: +49 (30) 83850-166
// Email: a.guentsch[at]bgbm.org
// Web: http://www.bgbm.org/guentsch/
// Skype: guentsch

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