The Preservation Tools, Techniques, and Policies (PTTP) IG provides a forum to bring together domain researchers, data and informatics experts, and policy specialists to discuss such issues as:
- What data/software/artifacts/documentation (hereafter referred to as “knowledge products”) should be preserved for sharing, re-use, and reproducibility for a given research domain?For other domains?
- What tools are available for researchers to preserve these elements in a manner that does not obstruct or hinder their research?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of these tools?
- Are there common features that could allow tools from one domain to be re-used elsewhere?
- Are there tools that archives/repositories could provide that could make preservation much easier for researchers?
- What are the longer-term development goals of each of these tools?
- What preservation policies exist, imposed by government agencies, publishers, or other actors? How are they changing? How are they implemented? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How can preservation policies be implemented in a way that aids research both now and in the future?
- How does this depend on the tools provided?
Through the course of these discussions, the PTTP IG acts to strengthen the dialogue between domain researchers and the data community by focusing on how researchers are enabled to use previously generated and preserve new results. This enhanced engagement amplifies the voice of the research community within the fabric of RDA. The additional focus on policy considerations, by nature nation-, agency-, and organization-specific, serves to illustrate the means by which research preservation can be encouraged (or required) and the implications of these policy decisions.
Given that one must preserve knowledge products before one can (usefully) share them, the mechanisms by which this preservation happens is primarily in the hands of the researcher and should be a critically important element to the mission of the RDA. The quality of the data and the information relevant to their creation can only be guaranteed by the researcher who produces the data. Thus, it is in the RDA’s best interest to consider this an integral part of its progress.
This group has obvious synergies with the Reproducibility IG, the Provenance IG, and the Active Data Management Plans IG, among others. It has no overlap with the existing Preservation e-Infrastructure IG, according to its charter.