Today is the start of the first-ever Endangered Data Week!
The goal of the week is to increase visibility for at-risk public datasets – either from deletion, repression, or loss.
The website for Endangered Data Week has some background information as to why this issue is coming to prominence now:
Political events in the United States have shed new light on the fragility of publicly administered data. In just the first few weeks of the Trump administration and 115th Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency was allegedly ordered to remove climate change information from its website, the USDA removed animal welfare data from its website, and the House passed H.Res.5, specifically excluding changes to the Affordable Care Act from mandatory long-term cost data analysis. The Senate and House of Representatives have both received proposed bills (S.103 and H.R.482) prohibiting funding from being used “to design, build, maintain, utilize, or provide access to a Federal database of geospatial information on community racial disparities or disparities in access to affordable housing.” While researchers, archivists, librarians, and watchdog groups work hard to create and preserve open data, there’s little guarantee that information under federal control will always survive changes to federal agencies.
Endangered Data Week is building on two other noteworthy data rescue programs that have sprung up in the last few months: Data Refuge (focusing on climate data) and ICPSR’s DataLumos (focusing on social science data).
Check out the Endangered Data Week website for more information about how to get involved.