10 tips to preserve data for the long haul — A better model for preserving data is needed and it requires worldwide collaboration, according to a task force on digital preservation and access

The growth of digital data is threatening to spiral out of control. More than 452 exabytes of information have been created and replicated this year — an amount higher than the world’s available storage capacity , according to IDC.

Not all data should be preserved, but efforts to save important information are being stymied by many factors: complacency, fear that the problem of long-term digital access and preservation is too big to take on, inadequate funding, confusion, and lack of alignment among stakeholders, a new report says. A better model for preserving data is needed, and it requires worldwide collaboration, says the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, which consists of experts from universities, major libraries, and one tech company ( Microsoft ).

“The long-term accessibility and use of valuable digital materials requires digital preservation activities that are economically sustainable — in other words, provisioned with sufficient funding and other resources on an ongoing basis to achieve their long-term goals,” task force co-chairman Brian Lavoie of the Online Computer Library Center said in a press release.

Although the task force says an industrywide solution is needed, there obviously are many steps individual IT shops can take to implement a better data preservation plan. The task force’s second co-chair, Fran Berman, director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, offered a list of 10 tips for preserving data in a recent article.

For a look at Berman’s advice, see infoworld.com.

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