[LINK] Fwd: Deadline extended: First International Workshop on Database Preservation (PresDB'07)

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat Mar 3 01:02:19 AEDT 2007

At 04:48 AM 2/03/2007, British.editor at erpanet.org writes:

First International Workshop on Database Preservation (PresDB'07)
23 March DCC, Edinburgh, UK


Most of scientific research is now based on digital data resources, and 
databases are playing an increasingly important role. Much of the data is 
either impossible (e.g. climate and demographic data) to reproduce or can 
only be recovered at enormous costs (e.g. data from high energy physics 
experiments or space flight missions). Nearly every reference manual, 
dictionary and gazetteer benefits from some form of database management 
support, and there has been an explosion in the number of curated 
databases in biology. These databases represent a huge investment of 
human effort. The need for preservation is self-evident.

While considerable thought has been given in the past to the preservation 
of fixed "digital objects", the preservation of databases, which have an 
internal structure and which may change over time, poses new challenges. 
Typically databases are centrally managed, and their survival depends on 
the viability of commercial organisations or the continued public funding 
of data centres. Libraries, the traditional curators of scientific and 
scholarly reference material, have largely abrogated their archival 
responsibility to databases.

Database preservation raises new technical, economic and legal issues. 
For example:

-- What are the salient features of a database that should be preserved?
-- What are the different stages in the database preservation's life 
-- How do we keep archived databases readable and usable in the long term 
(at acceptable cost)?
-- How do we separate the data from a specific database management 
-- How can we preserve the original data semantics and structure?
-- How can we preserve data while it continues to evolve?
-- How can we have efficient preservation frameworks, while retaining the 
ability to query different database versions?
-- How can multi-user online access be provided to hundreds of archived 
databases containing terabytes of data?
-- Can we move from a centralised model to a distributed, redundant model 
of database preservation?
-- What documentation is preserved together with a database, and in what 
-- What are the legal encumbrances on database preservation?
-- What can be learned from traditional archival appraisal for the 
selection of databases for preservation?
-- To what extent can the preservation strategies, and procedural 
policies developed by archivists be adapted for databases?

The workshop aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of 
researchers and practitioners who will address archival issues associated 
with databases. All participants presentations will be hosted by the 
workshop site and a short report with the final conclusions of the 
workshop discussions will be published.

PresDB is an informal workshop organized by a small executive committee. 
The one-day program of the workshop will consist of oral presentations 
and brainstorming sessions. Attendance will be mainly by invitation from 
the executive committee. To stimulate interaction and discussion, 
participants are also invited to submit short position papers until 
09/03/2007 (submissions will be send via e-mail to Vassilis Christophides 
christop at ics.forth.gr).

Timing and Venue
The workshop will be take place the 23 of March at the UK Digital 
Curation Centre and the Database Group in the School of Informatics, 
University of Edinburgh.

Executive Committee
Peter Buneman, University of Edinburgh, UK
Vassilis Christophides, University of Crete and FORTH-ICS, Greece (Chair)
Bertram Ludaescher University of California, Davis, USA
Chris Rusbridge, Digital Curation Center (DCC), UK
Wang-Chiew Tan, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
Ken Thibodeau National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), USA


Joy Davidson
DCC Training Coordinator and ERPANET British Editor
Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII)
George Service House, 11 University Gardens,
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QJ
Tel: +44(0)141 330 3549
Fax: +44(0)141 330 3788

Cheers all ..
Stephen Loosley
Victoria, Australia

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