Interest Group Title: Data Rescue Interest Group
Proposers: Elizabeth Griffin; David Gallaher; Lesley Wyborn
Date Received by TAB: April 7, 2015
Date Review Completed: May 19, 2015
TAB Reviewers: Carole Palmer, Jamie Shiers
Pass to Council for approval.
Focus and Fit:
Data rescue is a topic that has been raised at several RDA plenaries, both through BoF sessions as well as questions (aka comments) to plenary speakers. Rescuing data - or simply preserving it - enables it to be shared with future consumers and there are numerous examples of when existing data has been re-used (sometimes after rescue) for purposes not originally foreseen.
Where I (Jamie) slightly disagree with Elizabeth is that I believe that all data is inherently at risk - including that born digital - unless steps are taken early on to ensure adequate preservation / curation, including capturing of the necessary "knowledge" to be able to successfully re-use the data. However, to avoid having too wide a scope, it makes sense to have a clear focus for this IG (and not try to solve world peace at the same time).
CP - This is an important area and agree that the scope needs to be confined. I think that can be done by focusing on building awareness of and promoting current data resuce efforts and building a strong and active international community. The charter could be more tightly aligned with this focus and working objectives. Some statements seem exaggerated, such as the objective of rescue becoming a "routine element of all research."
The lead proposer - Elizabeth - is highly motivated by this topic and has managed to build a group of similar motivated and knowledgable people. There is even talk of a book (with a draft editorial team) complemented by a regular e-Newsletter.
CP - The proposer is highly motivated, there is strong interest in the RDA community, and the association DAR-TG will be a plus.
Impact and Engagement:
See the above. There are plans for a workshop in October 2016 plus regular meetings up until then. An open question is whether this work will help obtain the needed funding to actually rescue data or merely document the current lamentable state. However, exposing the situation and its implications can only help.
CP - Not clear how strong the alliance with the IDEA comeptition is at present, but that kind of engagement would be beneficial to the group and RDA more broadly. Good attention to public engagement activities.
Charter is Sufficient X; Charter Requires Revision __; Charter is Rejected __