Data Risk Factors

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Data collections can face a variety of risk factors. This page provides a set of resources that will be used by members of the ESIP Data Stewardship Committee to analyze and categorize these factors. The goal of this activity is to inform and enable a) individuals and organizations who manage data collections, and b) individuals and organizations who are wanting to help to reduce the risks associated with data preservation and stewardship.




  1. Anderson, William L., Faundeen, John L., Greenberg, Jane, & Taylor, Fraser. (2011). Metadata for data rescue and data at risk. In Conference on Ensuring Long-Term Preservation in Adding Value to Scientific and Technical Data.
  2. Brunet, M., & Jones, P. (2011). Data rescue initiatives: bringing historical climate data into the 21st century. Climate Research, 47(1), 29–40.
  3. Downs, Robert R. & Chen, Robert S. (2017). Curation of scientific data at risk of loss: Data rescue and dissemination. In Johnston, Lisa (Ed). Curating Research Data. Volume One, Practical Strategies for Your Digital Repository. Association of College and Research Libraries.
  4. Griffin, R.E. (2015). When are old data new data? GeoResJ, 6: 92–97.
  5. Griffin, E. (2018). The data that get forgotten. In Data Science Landscape (pp. 183–198). Springer Singapore.
  6. Hsu, L., Lehnert, K.A., Goodwillie, A., Delano, J.W., Gill, J.B., Tivey, M.A., Ferrini, V.L., Carbotte, S.M., Arko R.A. (2015). Rescue of long-tail data from the ocean bottom to the Moon: IEDA Data Rescue Mini-Awards, GeoResJ, 6:108-114,
  7. Knapp, K. R., Bates, J. J., & Barkstrom, B. (2007). Scientific Data Stewardship: Lessons Learned from a Satallite–Data Rescue Effort. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 88(9), 1359–1362.
  8. Levitus, S., (2012). The UNESCO-IOC-IODE "Global Oceanographic Data Archeology and Rescue" (GODAR) Project and "World Ocean Database" Project. Data Science Journal, 11, pp. 46–71.
  9. Michener, William K., et al. “Nongeospatial Metadata for the Ecological Sciences.” Ecological Applications, vol. 7, no. 1, Feb. 1997, pp. 330–42.[0330:NMFTES]2.0.CO;2
  10. Park, E. G., Burr, G., Slonosky, V., Sieber, R., & Podolsky, L. (2018). Data rescue archive weather (DRAW). Journal of Documentation, 74(4), 763–780.
  11. Poli, P., Dee, D. P., Saunders, R., John, V. O., Rayer, P., Schulz, J., … Bojinski, S. (2017). Recent Advances in Satellite Data Rescue. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 98(7), 1471–1484.
  12. Ryan, C., Duffy, C., Broderick, C., Thorne, P. W., Curley, M., Walsh, S., … Murphy, C. (2018). Integrating Data Rescue into the Classroom. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99(9), 1757–1764.
  13. Ryan, H. (2014). Occam’s razor and file format endangerment factors. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Digital Preservation (iPres), October 6-10, 2014: Melbourne, Australia (pp. 179-188).
  14. Thompson, C.A., Robertson, W. D., & Greenberg, J. (2014). Where have all the scientific data gone? LIS perspective on the data-at-risk predicament. College & Research Libraries, 75(6), 842-861.


  1. Guidelines to the Rescue of Data At Risk,
  2. Research Data Alliance Data Rescue Interest Group.
  3. US Geological Survey. 2016 Data at Risk Project.
    1. Link to Risk Evaluations and Reporting criteria:
  4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Climate Database Modernization Program.
  5. International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO),
  6. Tan, L. S., S. Burton, R. Crouthamel, A. van Engelen, R. Hutchinson, L. Nicodemus, T. C. Peterson, F. Rahimzadeh. (2004). Guidelines on Climate Data Rescue. WMO/TD No. 1210. Ed. by P. Llansó and H. Kontongomde. Geneva, Switzerland: World Meteorological Organization.
  7. Beaverson, Sheena. (2009). Data Deaccessioning Guidelines for the NSIDC DAAC.
  8. NESDIS Data Archive Board, (2002). Scientific Data Stewardship - Executive Summary.
  9. Digital Preservation Coalition - The 'Bit List' of Digitally Endangered Species


The Rescue of Data At Risk: An RDA / CODATA Workshop

Agenda -


Presentation slides -


  1. Center for Research Libraries and Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (2007). Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria and Checklist.
  2. Data Preservation Sub-Committee of the USGS Fundamental Science Practices Advisory Committee (FSPAC). (2015). FSPAC Data Preservation Criteria for a Trusted Digital Repository.
  3. Data Seal of Approval and ICSU World Data System. (2016). Core Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements.
  4. McGovern, N. Y. (2016). DPM “Stack”: A Management Infrastructure Frame for Digital Preservation that Parallels Technical Infrastructure.
  5. Nestor Certification Working Group. (2013). Explanatory Notes on the Nestor Seal for Trustworthy Digital Archives.
  6. Peng, G. (2015). The scientific data stewardship maturity assessment model template. Version: NCDC-CICS-SMM-0001-Rev.1 v4.0 06/23/2015.
  7. Rans, J. and Whyte, A. (2017). Using RISE: the Research Infrastructure Self-Evaluation Framework.
  8. Stall, S. (2016, December). So You want to Be Trustworthy: A repository’s Guide to Taking Reasonable Steps Towards Achieving ISO16363. Poster presented at the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.


  1. Downs, RR. 2009. Managing Risks to Scientific Data, Presented at the NYU/IBM Workshop on Managing Data Risk: Acquisition, Processing, Retention and Governance. New York, NY, April 24, 2009. Columbia University Academic Commons,
  2. Ramapriyan, H.K. 2017. NASA's EOSDIS, Trust and Certification. Presented at 2017 ESIP Summer Meeting, Bloomington, IN.