Preserving data so it is accessible for future generations: Opinion

April 5, 2022
Data must be intentionally preserved so that it is available and accessible for future generations, writes Michael Eisenstein. Eisenstein argues that while data sharing can keep data from being lost, data still can become inaccessible as it fades from both human memory and – in the form of obsolute software and physical storage degradation – computer memory. The author points to the FAIR Data Principles framework, which was published in 2016 and includes goals that can be met through data curation and metadata creation. Canada’s Living Data Project aims to preserve historic data sets through training and preservation. However, Eisenstein says that data preservation efforts must be continual as technology progresses. “With better tools available, the trick now is to give researchers incentives to put in the extra effort — a task that entails overcoming long-entrenched views on how scientific effort is credited and rewarded,” writes Eisenstein. Nature (Editorial)