"Wilbanks also points of that as the volume of data grows from new projects like the LHC and the new high-resolution cameras that may generate petabytes a day, we'll need to get better at determining what data to keep and what to throw away. We have to figure out how to deal with preservation and federation because our libraries have been able to hold books for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years. But persistence on the web is trivial. Right? The assumption is well, if it's meaningful, it'll be in the Google cache or the internet archives. But from a memory perspective, what do we need to keep in science? What matters? Is it the raw data? Is it the processed data? Is it the software used to process the data? Is it the normalized data? Is it the software used to normalize the data? Is it the interpretation of the normalized data? Is it the software we use to interpret the normalization of the data? Is it the operating systems on which all of those ran? What about genome data?'"
writes "Scientific data can be both hard to get and expensive, even if your tax dollars paid for it. And if you do pay the big bucks to a publisher for access to a scientific paper, there's no assurance that you'll be able to read it, unless you've spent your life learning to decipher them. That's the argument that John Wilbanks makes in a recent interview on O'Reilly Radar, describing the problems that have led to the creation of the Science Commons project, which he heads. According to Wilbanks, scientific data should be easy to access, in common formats that make it easy to exchange, and free for use in research. He also wants to see standard licensing models for scientific patents, rather than the individually negotiated ones now that make research based on an existing patent so financially risky."
Read on for the rest of blackbearnh's thoughts.