This is a very interesting article that raises many interesting questions about making sure you can get back to the bits you stored. Many organisations now have organised repositories of information to mitigate this risk, but scientists can be lax at using these.
The problem however is not over there. When you get the bits back in 10 years the file format may be obsolete and the data useless. An additional layer on top of "bit preservation" is format preservation. National archives are leading the way in research into this problem including the "Active Preservation" approach divised by the UK National Archives and explored by the EU PLANETS project. Also the NSF Datanet project in the US is looking at this for scientific data.
posted by Jon Tilbury
February 25, 2010
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