KNAW-DANS, Data Archiving and Networked Services
KNAW-DANS – Data Archiving and Networked Services – is an institute under the auspices of Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), which is also supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Since its establishment in 2005, DANS has been storing and making research data in the arts and humanities and social sciences permanently accessible. To this end KNAW-DANS (referred to as DANS below) itself develops permanent archiving services, stimulates others to follow suit, works closely with data managers to ensure as much data as possible is made freely available for use in scientific research.
DANS manages the DARIAH initiative (see: http://www.dariah.eu), the European research infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities and is partner in the CESSDA project (RI for the Social Sciences) and CLARIN (RI for Language Resources). Digital preservation and data curation are important components of these initiatives.
Together with other stakeholders DANS implemented a system for the persistent identification of scientific data sets. For the persistent identifiers, use is made of Uniform Resource Name (URN) for which a namespace was obtained via the Dutch National Library.
DANS took the initiative to establish the “Data Seal of Approval”. An international board now manages the guidelines. The Data Seal of Approval ensures that in the future, research data can still be processed in a high-quality and reliable manner, without entailing new thresholds, regulations or high costs. The Data Seal of Approval and its quality guidelines may be of interest to research institutions, organizations that archive data and to users of that data (see://www.datasealofapproval.org).
A last example of DANS activities relevant for digital preservation concerns the development of a system, called MIXED, that enables the conversion of obsolete binary file formats into an intermediate XML format and convertors from this intermediate format to common file formats. More information on MIXED (Migration to intermediate XML for electronic data) can be found at: http://mixed.dans.knaw.nl.