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Managing Research Data in Big Science

, , and . (2012)cite arxiv:1207.3923 Comment: Project final report, 45 pages: see http://purl.org/nxg/projects/mrd-gw for project details, and http://purl.org/nxg/projects/mrd-gw/report for other document versions.

Abstract

The project which led to this report was funded by JISC in 2010--2011 as part of its 'Managing Research Data' programme, to examine the way in which Big Science data is managed, and produce any recommendations which may be appropriate. Big science data is different: it comes in large volumes, and it is shared and exploited in ways which may differ from other disciplines. This project has explored these differences using as a case-study Gravitational Wave data generated by the LSC, and has produced recommendations intended to be useful variously to JISC, the funding council (STFC) and the LSC community. In Sect. 1 we define what we mean by 'big science', describe the overall data culture there, laying stress on how it necessarily or contingently differs from other disciplines. In Sect. 2 we discuss the benefits of a formal data-preservation strategy, and the cases for open data and for well-preserved data that follow from that. This leads to our recommendations that, in essence, funders should adopt rather light-touch prescriptions regarding data preservation planning: normal data management practice, in the areas under study, corresponds to notably good practice in most other areas, so that the only change we suggest is to make this planning more formal, which makes it more easily auditable, and more amenable to constructive criticism. In Sect. 3 we briefly discuss the LIGO data management plan, and pull together whatever information is available on the estimation of digital preservation costs. The report is informed, throughout, by the OAIS reference model for an open archive.

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[1207.3923] Managing Research Data in Big Science

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