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The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > Meetings & Events > Science at Risk: Toward a National Strategy for Preserving Online Science

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Meeting Date, Location

June 26-27, 2012
Library of Congress, James Madison Building
Montpelier Room, 6th Floor
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20540

Final Report

Science @Risk: Toward a National Strategy for Preserving Online Science (PDF)

  • Science @ Risk: Toward a National Strategy for Preserving Online Science, by NDIIPP Staff and Abby Smith Rumsey
  • The Historical Value of Ephemeral Discussion of Science on the Web, by Fred Gibbs
  • Ten Years of Science Blogs: A Definition, and a History, by Bora Zivkovic
  • Case Study: Developing a "Health and Medicine Blogs" Collection at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, by Christie Moffatt and Jennifer Marill
  • Appendix: Eleven Brief Ideas for Web Archives of Online Science Discourse


Meeting Goals

This meeting addressed two significant curatorial challenges facing libraries, archives and museums who want to preserve online science:

  • What is the long-term value of these new online forms of science content? What criteria should be used to assess the potential for re-use over time?
  • What are the appropriate roles and responsibilities of libraries, archives and museums with respect to this content's preservation and access? What new partnerships and collaborations need to be developed within organizations; among stewardship organizations; and with the creators and users of this content?

Desired Outcomes

  • Develop shared understandings of the long-term value of online science content.
  • Propose new models of organizational structures and collaborations that will support the roles and responsibilities entailed in providing stewardship of this content.
  • Advise the Library of Congress on next steps, such as modeling and testing several different approaches that will develop criteria for assessing long-term value; and what new organizational models will best support this content's stewardship.

Preliminary Key Questions

  • Value of Content: 50 years from now, what kinds of online science content will invaluable for understanding science in our age? Please give an example of a particular piece of content and explain why it would be significant. Feel free to provide several examples if you wish.
  • Future Use of Content: What kinds of uses do you imagine this science content could serve? Please briefly describe the value that you think online science content provides for the future. Ideally, focus on specific kinds of content and explain what value that content provides to different types of users (ex, future scientists, historians, policy makers, etc).
  • Identifying Curatorial Homes: Libraries, Archives and Museums have typically collected published works (like journals and books) unpublished works (like the papers of scientists) and a range of other special collections (everything from collections of specimens, to laboratory equipment, to a range of other artifacts). Where are the natural curatorial homes for various kinds of online science content?