Preservation Policies

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)
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Agency Strategies and Policies that Support Preservation


1. Requirements (NPR) 1441.1D: NASA Records Retention Schedules (1/31/08)

This document covers all types of records managed by NASA. In Chapter 8 (Program Management Records), sections 101-113 (PROGRAM AND PROJECT RECORDS) are of particular interest. Quoted from the document:

"What items 101-113 cover. These items designate appropriate retention of NASA program and project records produced through compliance with NPR 7120.5 or other authorized project management practices. It provides for permanent retention of substantive and historically significant records, and temporary retention of other records until the Agency no longer needs them. The terms "program" and "project" are defined in the current versions of NPD 7120.4 and NPR 7120.5. This schedule applies to all activities performed as part of programs/projects whether designated "tasks," "work packages," or other terminology."

2. NASA ES Data Preservation Content Spec (423-SPEC-001Ch01, Jan 2013; Original Nov 2011)

This document was developed based on the Provenance and Context Content Standard matrix developed by the ESIP Data Stewardship Committee in January 2011. It defines the contents of data, metadata and associated documentation to be preserved beyond the life of missions funded by NASA’s Earth Science Division. The purpose of the document is to identify all the content items that need to be preserved to ensure their availability to support future investigations in long-term global change research. This document’s focus is on the contents (i.e., “what”) and not on the implementation or representation (i.e., “how”) of the content items. The contents are divided into eight categories: Preflight/Pre-Operations, Products (Data), Product Documentation, Mission Calibration, Product Software, Algorithm Input, Validation and Software Tools. Items are described under each of these categories along with rationale for requiring their preservation.


National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program[1]


Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program [2]

Interagency Working Group on Digital Data

IWGDD represents 23 agencies including: NSF, NASA, DOE, USDA, HHS, Office of Science & Technology Policy. Established by the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Science in 2006, its mission is to: - Develop and promote implementation of strategic plan for the federal government to cultivate an open, interoperable framework; and - Ensure reliable preservation and effective access to digital data for research, development, and education in science, technology, and engineering.

The Interagency Working Group on Digital Data (IWGDD) of the National Science and Technology Council's(NSTC) Committee on Science recently issued a report detailing a strategy to "ensure that digital scientific data can be reliably preserved for maximum use in catalyzing progress in science and society".

Their goal is to achieve this vision:

"Create a comprehensive framework of transparent, evolvable, extensible policies and management and organizational structures that provide reliable, effective access to the full spectrum of public digital scientific data. Such a framework will serve as a driving force for American leadership in science and in a competitive, global information society."

Their recommendations are that:

  • a National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee for digital scientific data preservation, access, and interoperability be created;
  • appropriate departments and agencies lay the foundations for agency digital scientific data policy and make the policy publicly available; and
  • agencies promote a data management planning process for projects that generate

preservation data.

The full report can be obtained at