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STFC Centre for Environmental Data Archival (CEDA)Annual Report 2010 (April 2009-March 2010)

Lawrence, Bryan N (2010) STFC Centre for Environmental Data Archival (CEDA)Annual Report 2010 (April 2009-March 2010). Annual Report. Science and Technology Facilities Council Centre for Environmental Data Archival.

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Abstract

The mission of the Centre for Environmental Archival is to deliver long term curation of scientifically important environmental data at the same time as facilitating the use of data by the environmental science community. CEDA was established by the amalgamation of the activities of two of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) designated data centres: the British Atmospheric Data Centre, and the NERC Earth Observation Data Centre. The process began with administrative functions (in 2005) and has proceeded steadily since, as new activities have and continue to be accreted into CEDA. Until 2008, the constituent parts of CEDA reported independently to NERC, but in 2009 we produced the first public report for CEDA. We are pleased to present here in our second annual report, evidence of the range of activities undertaken in CEDA, from methodical management of data, through innovative software development, to a close engagement with the scientific community – gathering and delivering the requirements of 21st century digital environmental science. Digital curation involves ensuring that data remains both safe and fit for purpose. For most of us it is intangible, we're not really aware of it except for when things go wrong. We have considerable experience of personal curation failings: we all know someone (or have had it happen to us) who has suffered a hard-drive failure, but just as important is recognising the inability to understand the contents of a spreadsheet we created a few months ago as a curation failure resulting in unneeded angst and repetition of effort. Hopefully, we have less experience of service curation failure, even as we rely on remotely managed data (some of which we create, some of which we consume). From banks to insurance companies, from facebook to flickr, as our world of digital data expands, so too does our dependency. All service providers carry out curation; a delicate balancing act between preserving the bits and bytes, and evolving the way those bits and bytes are stored and understood to support new products and services. So too in science, the journal article is no longer the only important product of science – more and more of the underlying data is being preserved both as evidence for what was done, and as raw material for new and interesting syntheses of information. Digital curation is now part and parcel of doing science, ensuring we understand what was done and can repeat it, even as we have forgotten the doing of it. CEDA plays its part in curation and evolution by endeavouring to preserve for posterity what has been done and facilitating new and interesting ways of exploiting data for the future. Such facilitation now includes both building new delivery services (which is what the users see) and new information services to ensure the data is always fit for purpose and available for reuse (the hard part of which most users never see). It also includes acquiring third party data as necessary and engaging with producers and users of data alike. In this, the second annual report of CEDA, we present some of our curation and facilitation accomplishments from the last year, beginning with a summary of important events and collaborations. We follow that with some selected highlights, and some statistical reports, including a financial summary. We then present our targets for next year. CEDA has done much, well, and of necessity; only some of what we have done is presented here, and we trust that you find something of interest.

Item Type:Monograph (Annual Report)
Subjects:Data and Information
Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Computer Science
Earth Sciences
Meteorology and Climatology
ID Code:901
Deposited By:Dr Graham Parton
Deposited On:14 Mar 2012 11:21
Last Modified:14 Mar 2012 11:21

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