Margaret Leinen, president of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, will present “The Challenge of Assimilating Older Data and Samples into Digital Datasets and Sample Collections” at the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting (U23A-03 • Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2:20 p.m. Moscone West 3002)
The geosciences are especially dependent on past observations of the planet to understand both processes and planetary history. As digital storage became more inexpensive—and conversion of written and published material to digital format became easier—many of us assumed that existing files of data, and even notebooks and “shoeboxes” of data, would be assimilated into larger curated datasets. While publications are rapidly becoming available digitally, the data in them are not being integrated into readily available datasets. Negative data, while critical, are especially at risk. Samples are even more vulnerable because of the space needed and cost of maintenance.
Universities are more frequently being called on to manage the data and scientific collections of faculty who are no longer active or to find other collections that are willing to take them on, in most cases with no additional resources. Examples from datasets and collections maintained by Scripps Institution of Oceanography will be used to illustrate challenges.