The research data produced, collected, or funded by the Federal government are an integral part of the rich tapestry of the nation’s cultural and scholarly record, and are critical resources for advancing scholarship, public policy, and governmental transparency and accountability. The Data Mirror project (datamirror.org) is working to ensure that Federal research data are proactively managed in a manner ensuring their continuing availability for retrieval and reuse, now and in the future. These resources are fundamentally important to the success of the University of California’s research, teaching, learning, and public outreach activities, and the prudent stewardship provided by the UC Curation Center (UC3) furthers the University’s mission to educate, illuminate, and serve.
One of the most important strategies for ensuring the long-term usability of digital information comes from distributed redundancy of storage and access points. Data Mirror is a complete, and routinely updated, copy of the main Federal government research data portal, data.gov. The Data Mirror points back to the “datasets of record” on Federal agency websites for routine access. However, should these access paths become interrupted or inaccessible, Data Mirror also includes pointers to the UC3-managed copies, as well as additional registered replicas hosted by other institutions. Providing alternative search and retrieval opportunities helps to ensure that these important data will remain available for study and use in perpetuity.
UC3 is also participating in a number of related open data and web archiving initiatives, including:
- Data Rescue, a grass-roots movement of concerned citizens, scientists, and scholars working to ensure public access to critical research data.
- DataRefuge, a multi-institutional effort to capture and preserve Federal climate and environment science data.
- End-of-Term Archive, a national effort to capture and preserve the full Federal government web domain (.gov).
- LIbraries+ Network, a newly formed consortium providing advocacy on open data and open government issues.