Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Data repository for 3 Dutch universities

Three Dutch technical universities announced on February 19 their plans to create a consortial data repository. (Thanks to Wouter Gerritsma.) From the press release:

The world of technical science is to have its own data centre for digital data sets. The 3TU.Datacentre will ensure well-documented storage and long-term access to technical-science study data. This will guarantee the long-term availability of the Netherlands’ entire technical-science heritage. The 3TU.Datacentre is an initiative of the libraries of TU Delft, TU Eindhoven and the University of Twente under the auspices of the 3TU.Federation.

In the world of science, it is already possible to gain long-term access to (digital) publications. It is generally possible to consult an article long after initial publication. Facilities to do so have been set up all around the world. The data sets which form the basis for a scientific publication, however, are not yet stored for the long term. There is a high risk of these becoming inaccessible relatively soon after the study has been completed due to, for instance, the physical deterioration of the storage medium, loss of the descriptive (meta) data (which makes it impossible to place the data in the correct context) or the inability to run old software on new computers and operating systems.

The 3TU.Datacentre will provide storage of and continuing access to technical-science study data. After all, data sets often remain highly valuable even after a study has been completed. They may be reused in a new study or used to verify the original study. The long-term storage of test data also enables studies to be held over a long period. Facilities for the long-term storage of alpha and gamma data already exist under the auspices of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO): DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services).

Comment. Per Wouter Gerritsma, the announcement doesn't make clear if the repository will be open access, a dark archive, or some other form of limited access.

Update (from Peter). Wouter has written to confirm that the repository will be OA.