Thursday, 13 February 2003: 4:00 PM
Archive Management: The Missing Component
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) views the area of Archive Management, as comprising three components: Information Technology Infrastructure, Customer Service, and Scientific Stewardship. This last component, Scientific Stewardship, can be characterized as the long-term preservation of the scientific integrity, monitoring and improving the quality, and the extraction of further knowledge from the data. As our data volumes increase, this component, while being recognized as being important, has suffered. Without this component, Archive Management is static, sterile, and lacks the true ability to provide meaningful information and knowledge derived from the archived data. Proper Scientific Stewardship is performed by scientists and data managers knowledgeable in the scientific assessment of a particular data type, and the practice will ensure effective data management where data are 1) used, reprocessed, and reapplied for purposes both intended and newly discovered, 2) improved through repeated analysis and evaluation, and 3) made more accessible with new technologies or innovative structures. This paper will address the importance of Scientific Stewardship in the process of going from data to information; information to knowledge; and ultimately knowledge to wisdom in which environmental data can more easily be used by policy makers in a variety of decision processes. We believe that this practice is a valuable component for ensuring the long-term preservation of data archives while also adding significant value to scientific and technical data.