This project ran from 2008 until 2010 and has now finished.
Permanent Access to the Records of Science in Europe
PARSE.Insight was a two-year project co-funded by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme. It was concerned with the preservation of digital information in science, from primary data through analysis to the final publications resulting from the research. The problem is how to safeguard this valuable digital material over time, to ensure that it is accessible, usable and understandable in future. The rapid pace of change in information technology threatens media, file formats and software with obsolescence, and changing concepts and terminology also mean that, even if data can be read, it might not be correctly interpreted by future generations.
Many initiatives are already under way in this area, and the aim of the PARSE.Insight project is to develop a roadmap and recommendations for developing the e-infrastructure in order to maintain the long-term accessibility and usability of scientific digital information in Europe. The project conducted a number of surveys and in-depth case studies of different scientific disciplines and stakeholders and based its results on these findings, as well as knowledge of ongoing developments.
PARSE.Insight is closely linked to the Alliance for Permanent Access to the Records of Science. The output from this project is taken forward in the APARSEN Network of Excellence. Results are also delivered to the European Commission to support them in defining a strategy for developing a sustainable research infrastructure.
Symposium and 2nd year review successful
On 25th of June 2010 the final Symposium of PARSE.Insight took place with participants from various stakeholders in research. Presented were the major insights gained in the preservation of research output in Europe as well as the next steps to take to come to a better ecology of data preservation and re-use. Ten major insights were identified, amongst these major gaps between different countries in how to deal with research data and researchers’ reluctance to share their data while they certainly want others’ data. These findings were enforced by the outcomes of three case studies: High-Energy Physics, Earth Observation and Social Sciences and Humanities. Based on these findings and our ideas for the development of a science data infrastructure in Europe, the final roadmap of PARSE.Insight has been presented and published. Aside from technical aspects this also addresses organisational as well as social aspects such as incentives for researchers to increase their willingness to share their data. Furthermore, the gap analysis tool was presented which helps finding weak spots and contradictions in stakeholder communities and the Interactive Map showing who is active in preservation in Europe. Finally, PARSE.Insight’s supportive work on defining an audit and certification standard has been explained. More information about the symposium can be found at the event’s page
The second day, 26th of June 2010, PARSE.Insight had its final official review conducted by the EC. Overall, the results of the project were very much appreciated and do fulfill the expectations raised at the beginning of the project. Finding such as “people seem to think that dealing with open access solves digital preservation” were mentioned by one of the reviewers as a real eye-opener. Also, many researchers still keep their data on their local discs which is far from ideal. These and other findings were found very important. As all reports have been delivered succesfully, it is now time to tell the world about it. PARSE.Insight received various recommendations for wider dissemination of results and we will follow on to that. A summary of the review report is expected soon.
PARSE.Insight final symposium: 25 June 2010
The European Union, as well as many national funding bodies, are creating infrastructures to support European research in particular and European development in general. Many of the building blocks are in place or are close to full scale deployment. PARSE.Insight is an EU-funded project which is helping to develop the policy to determine the next steps in the areas of preservation, access and re-use of scientific (in the broadest sense) data.
We are therefore pleased to invite you to the symposium PARSE.Insight – carrying the flame forward. The aim of the symposium is to review the results of our extensive, world-wide, surveys and case studies, as well as the updated Roadmap, but more importantly we wish to map out, with your help, what comes next.