The March 22nd issue of Nature is reporting that an interdepartmental government group, the Interagency Working Group on Digital Data (IWGDD) has recommended that the government set up a freely accessible repository for the massive quantities of data that are generated by research sponsored by many government agencies. Currently such a repository exists for gene and protein data -- Genbank -- and for astronomers. But this proposal, which it is felt WILL HAPPEN, has a much broader reach. The IWGDD represents 22 agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services, and other government branches including the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
A draft strategic plan for this proposal will be drawn up by the Fall of 2007. According to the Nature article,
The group’s first step is to set up a robust public infrastructure so all researchers have a permanent home for their data. One option is to create a national network of online data repositories, funded by the government and staffed by dedicated computing and archiving professionals. It would extend to all communities a model similar to the Arabidopsis Information Resource, in which 20 staff serve 13,000 registered users and 5,000 labs. The IWGDD is considering making submission of well-documented data sets to archives a requirement of getting a grant.
Posted by Katie Newman at March 27, 2007 11:49 AM