UK risks 'losing science data'

British Library says its digital storage plan is critical to underpin science

Robert Walgate(walgate@scienceanalysed.com)
Apr 21, 2004

Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, sought the support of the UK House of Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology yesterday (April 21) for a £12 million, 2-year investment at the library, to create a long-term national depository for digital scientific information and publications.

The depository is “absolutely critically to underpin science,” said Brindley. “Without this, we will lose increasing amounts of scientific data, and it will mean the UK will not be world class in this area.”

In a briefing document, the British Library said a large amount of scientific information is now being published exclusively in digital formats. “Much of this data is published informally and is inherently ephemeral. Unless archives begin to systematically identify, capture, and map this data, it will simply disappear.”

The lack of a public record is also inhibiting the development of digital publications, said Brindley.

“The reason we wish...