Open Repositories 2013

Last week, while others were worrying about Sharknado, I was worrying about how we were going to preserve all the Sharknado tweets, memes, and news references.

Erin wearing an Anne of Green Gables hat

Perhaps not that exactly. But in between homages to Anne of Green Gables, I was engaged in numerous discussions about how archivists should be preserving and making big data sets and software available and accessible at the Open Repositories conference held on Prince Edward Island.

The plenary speaker, Victoria Stodden, spoke about the increasing necessity for access to research data and the code used to manipulate the data in order to reproduce and verify results. Articles are useful references that advertise research, but the data sets and code are integral parts of the scientific process and necessary to preserve as well. However, how to require submission, where to deposit, and mechanisms for equitable open access are the tricky elements to making this vision a reality.

Closing plenary speaker, Jean-Claude Geudon, envisioned a potential future where publishers would provide free access to the articles but required payment for access to the data and code. Repositories should claim this territory as their own as part of their efforts to support quality of scientific research over competition of scientific publishing.

Open access publishing is something DCA supports. It is time to look at open access data as well.