New DataLumos archive aims to preserve government data


The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research is establishing an open-access archive, DataLumos, where the public can archive valuable government data resources, ensuring their long-term availability.

ICPSR, a center within U-M’s Institute for Social Research, has joined widespread efforts to preserve valuable U.S. government data that may be hard to find or inaccessible in the future.

“We are committed to ensuring that valuable data resources remain accessible and discoverable in the future,” said ICPSR Director Margaret Levenstein, who added that members of the research community can help prioritize a list of valued data resources via the ICPSR DataLumos Recommendation Form.

ICPSR has scheduled a webinar at noon Friday to talk about efforts to ensure that data remains available and to answer questions about the DataLumos project.

Data preservation efforts have been mounted at libraries and universities around the United States to keep federal government datasets available to the public. More than 275 volunteers from U-M and around the community gathered at Shapiro Library last month in a local effort to preserve government data. 

Elaine Westbrooks, associate university librarian for research, says the U-M Library is committed to contributing to the National DataRefuge and Data Rescue efforts while also exploring the creation of a collaborative preservation space with other U.S. libraries.

ICPSR is an international consortium of more than 760 academic institutions and research organizations. The world’s largest archive of digital social science data, ICPSR maintains more than 500,000 files of research, including specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism and other fields.


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