Online Scientific Data Curation, Publication, and Archiving

  • Alexander S. Szalay
  • Ani R. Thakar
  • Christopher Stoughton
  • Jan Vandenberg

MSR-TR-2002-74 |

Technical Report UU-CS-2004-51

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Science projects are data publishers. The scale and complexity of current and future science data changes the nature of the publication process. Publication is becoming a major project component. At a minimum, a project must preserve the ephemeral data it gathers. Derived data can be reconstructed from metadata, but metadata is ephemeral. Longer term, a project should expect some archive to preserve the data. We observe that published scientific data needs to be available forever – this gives rise to the data pyramid of versions and to data inflation where the derived data volumes explode. As an example, this article describes the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) strategies for data publication, data access, curation, and preservation.