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US universities start $20 million archiving project

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A $20 million US archiving project led by Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Sheridan Libraries aims to help preserve scientific data. The five-year 'Data Conservancy' project is part of the National Science Foundation's $100 million DataNet programme. This aims to establish a national cyberinfrastructure to support the long term preservation and curation of scientific data.

The Data Conservancy team will build a data research infrastructure for the management of the increasing amounts of digital information created for teaching and research, with an emphasis on enabling new scientific discoveries through data integration. 

'This project is of great importance,' said Sayeed Choudhury, principal investigator for Data Conservancy and the Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center and associate dean of university libraries at Johns Hopkins. 'So much information is now ‘born digital’ that efforts like this are vital for enabling new forms of scientific research.'

The team at John Hopkins University will be working with IT and consultancy services company Tessella on this project. Tessella staff will lead the Infrastructure Research and Development (IRD) team. The primary responsibility of Tessella staff is to provide oversight and responsibility for delivering all technical aspects of the Data Conservancy system development lifecycle. This includes the development of system architecture, component design, interface definitions, technology and tool selection, physical data models, component development and system integration and deployment. The IRD team lead will work closely with the other team leads, chair of the SDG and Executive Director to ensure that the data curation infrastructure provides a comprehensive set of services and information models that meets the identified needs of the scientists.