Digital Archiving of Astronomical Data to Support Publication and Long Term Preservation
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Microsoft are collaborating to undertake Digital Archiving of Astronomical Data to Support Publication and Long-term Preservation. Activities will involve developing a repository-based infrastructure that will support the end-to-end process of capturing, curating, preserving, and providing access to all of these data for the long term. This system will build upon existing repository and electronic publishing systems (e.g., Fedora, PubMedCentral, DPubS) and Virtual Observatory web services and data format standards (e.g., FITS).
The National Virtual Observatory (NVO) project is playing a leadership role in building services for the astronomy community to access and analyze astronomical data (http://us-vo.org). For good reason, the NVO is often cited as one of the quintessential cyberinfrastructure projects. With projects such as NVO, the astronomy community has moved into the forefront of data-intensive digital science, providing a path for other disciplines to consider. However, thus far the scope of the NVO has deliberately not included long-term data curation, focusing instead on data location and data access standards and protocols. Based on extensive, ongoing dialogue and communication, the NVO project team, led by researchers at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), has concluded that academic research libraries represent the ideal home for long-term preservation and curation of large-scale datasets to support persistent access and scholarly communication, given their expertise and long-term, sustainable support from universities.