Data Rescue Reno sets out to save vital data and web pages

University Libraries and the Reno Collective host one of 30 nationwide events Saturday, April 22

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4/20/2017 | By: Jill Stockton |

Community members from the Reno area will take part in Data Rescue Reno on Saturday, April 22. The local effort is designed to help save vital federal government data and web pages as part of a broader, national movement.

Hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries and the Reno Collective, Data Rescue Reno gives the northern Nevada community the chance to take part in an effort to ensure researchers and members of the public can continue to access important environmental data found through federal websites like the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE) and NASA.   Data Rescue Reno will take place from 1-5 p.m. at the Reno Collective located at 100 N. Arlington Ave., #100, Saturday, April 22.  

Data Rescue Reno is collaborating with Data Refuge and the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI), which have coordinated 30 other similar projects across the country to use grassroots efforts to efficiently gather these important data sets for preservation.  

"We often think of anything digital as being sturdier and longer lasting than print, but the opposite is actually true," University of Nevada, Reno Scholarly Communications and Copyright Librarian Teresa Schultz said. "We lose digital data all the time, and every lost dataset is a missed opportunity for science to learn more about our world."  

Data Rescue Reno, like all other Data Rescue events, will be assigned a subsection of federal webpages to browse. Event attendees will work to identify important web pages in need of archiving through the Internet Archive's End of Term project as well as work to harvest datasets considered most in danger of being lost. Everyone from the Reno community is invited to take part. Technical skills can be as basic as knowing how to browse through a web page to knowing how to harvest data. Other activities include helping to tell the story about Data Rescue Reno through social media, as well as talking with others about potential future needs projects. The event is free to take part in, and beverages and snacks will be provided.  

Datasets saved through the Data Rescue Reno event will be uploaded to the Data Refuge database, joining almost 200 other datasets already saved.  

This includes federal data, which have disappeared during government shutdowns and as various policies and funding changes are made over time.  

"The Reno Collective is all about collaboration and community, and there is a lot of inherent community value in public datasets," Colin Loretz, founding member of the Reno Collective, said. "We've done a lot of events in the past to help create, preserve and enhance local civic datasets through Hack4Reno, and we're excited to be a part of this larger data rescue effort to help make data more open, more accessible and easier to use than ever before."  

Data Rescue Reno is part of the national Endangered Data Week, put on for the first time this year by the Digital Library Federation.  

To find out more information and to register, visit NevadaDataRescue.unr.edu.  

Please contact Teresa Schultz, scholarly communications librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno University Libraries, via email at teresas@unr.edu or by phone at 775-682-5638.

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