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Taking Digital Preservation to Science Online 2012

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The following is a guest post from Trevor Owens, Digital Archivist with the Office of Strategic Initiatives.

This week, my Library of Congress colleague Abbey Potter and I will participate in ScienceOnline 2012, an international unconference on science and the web. We are both excited to learn more about the interesting and valuable resources scientists, science communicators and the public are creating and sharing online.

As per usual, we will be wearing our digital preservation hats, in this case reaching out to science content creators to discuss how we can all work together to ensure long term access to important science content on the web. Any science folk reading this post should consider leaving a comment to introduce yourself. Take a moment to tell us about some online science site, resource, or content you think is valuable or you think will be an important record from our times.

Libraries and archives have long collected and preserved the work of scientists and records of science. Many of those collection areas now have online corollaries. Open notebook science looks a lot like the papers of scientists. Scientists communicating directly with the public through blogs has interesting parallels with the letters and correspondence frequently collected by archives. Beyond these areas, things like citizen science project web forums are serving as critical points of interaction between professionals, amateurs, students and enthusiasts engaged in scientific discovery. These kinds of online exchanges are of value to future historians of science and anyone interested in tracing changes in scientific discourse. It is our hope, that participating in this meeting can serve as a place to open up a broader conversation about preserving science on the web.

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