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Storing data forever

From Nature Geoscience 3, 219 (May 2010) Unlike accountants, scientists need to store their data forever. This expanding task requires dedication, expertise and substantial funds. Data are at the heart of scientific research. Therefore, all data and metadata should be stored — forever, and accessibly. But it would be naïve to think that such a ‘gold standard’ of preservation could be achieved. In one spectacular example of the failure of science to save its treasures, some of NASA’s early satellite data were erased from the high-resolution master tapes in the 1980s. The lost data could now help extend truly global 

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