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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Award for PANGAEA data repository

International Award for Information Technology Goes to Research Institutions in the German Federal State of Bremen for the Data Library PANGAEA, press release, June 25, 2008.
The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI) and the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) received the 21st Century Achievement Award of the Computerworld Honors Program in the category Environment, which is one of the most prestigious awards in information technology.

The award has been granted in response to PANGAEA's implementation and successful operation of a unique information system for archiving, publishing and processing of earth system data. ...

During the last decades the capability and precision of tools used to sample and analyze our earth have increased exponentially - with an analogous increase in the resulting data output. At the same time, the information technology has made significant advances, which allow storage, distribution and processing of a nearly unlimited amount of data. Not concurrent with this progress is, however, the development of a related culture for a sustainable delivery of scientific data to future research. It is no longer feasible to publish data in publications. In spite of this, the bibliographic archiving of primary data from projects and publications is still not an integral part of the scientific workflow and thus most of the data are getting lost while hardware and software are changing quickly. Today this is considered to be one of the most crucial deficiencies in science. Various institutions, foundations and international organizations like the OECD are currently formulating recommendations for an improved data archiving.

Thanks to the support of AWI's computer centre, scientists at AWI and MARUM after many years of work were able to build a sustainable information system. PANGAEA, as a universal data library, is also a publication system and allows integration of data in the established process of scientific publications. Thus Pangaea is an information system, which encourages scientists to freely archive their data in an open access environment.

Through a well-defined editorial workflow, the archived data are related to any information required for its understanding being citable and accessible in formats following international standards. ... Extraction of individual subsets from the inventory is enabled through a data warehouse ...