Dr. William Michener spoke today at the iSchool on "Building a virtual data center for the biological, ecological and environmental sciences." While that topic doesn't sound much like digitization, one comment he made connected with me. Michener noted that the National Science Foundation is asking researchers to submit data management plans with their funding requests. The NSF does not want research data to be lost, yet if often is.
When digitization programs ask for funding, what if they had to submit a plan for how they are going to manage their data? What if they needed to demonstrate upfront that they have thought about the long-term viability of all of their digital files, including metadata? While that might seem like a tough hurdle for many programs, would it help to ensure that programs were not orphaned after their completion?