Thursday, May 24, 2007

NSF Community-based Data Interoperability Networks (INTEROP) Proposal Solicitation

A solicitation for proposals has been issued by the NFS's US National Science Foundation Office of Cyberinfrastructure with the goals of funding projects supporting the re-use and re-purposing of data, data discovery, interoperability and "consensus-building activities and for providing the expertise necessary to turn the consensus into technical standards with associated implementation tools and resources."

Scientific data is very expensive to acquire, and much of it cannot be reproduced, due to its temporal nature. Vast resources of data acquired through publicly-funded research languish due to the lack of archiving of these data sets. Much of this exists on the hard-drives and (yes) floppy disks of researchers, much of which is thrown away when the researcher retires.

Both due to the loss of dataset, and the lack of standard metadata (some disciplines are better off than others) and tools for the discovery and use (interoperability) of existing data sets, re-use and re-purposing of data is -- at present -- very limited, and the kind of unforeseen and creative use of data analogous to the Web 2.0 mashups are not possible. The metastudies and metasyntheses that are often more revealing and more powerful than the original works need to be made possible.

Thanks to Cliff Lynch (CNI) for pointing out this solicitation.

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