Data Preservation: It's a People Problem
Scholars today are encouraged to do new research: measure something which hasn't been measured or find an object which has not been found before. Exploiting old information has been secondary, since in times past there was not much to exploit and not much to gain from reanalyzing data. So data curators didn't get much respect. Today meta-analysis of old studies and data mining of repositories of automatically collected information is a productive source of new science and scholarship, but it's still not taught or properly rewarded. We will need a new set of values in the scholarly community if we are to get adequate human and economic resources devoted to data curation.
Dr Michael Lesk
After receiving the PhD degree in Chemical Physics in 1969, Michael Lesk joined the computer science research group at Bell Laboratories, where he worked until 1984. From 1984 to 1995 he managed the computer science research group at Bellcore, then joined the National Science Foundation as head of the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems, and is now Professor at Rutgers University in the School of Communication , Information and Library Studies.
He is best known for work in electronic libraries, and his book "Practical Digital Libraries" was published in 1997 by Morgan Kaufmann. His research has included the CORE project for chemical information, and he wrote some Unix system utilities including those for table printing (tbl), lexical analyzers (lex), and inter-system mail (uucp). His other technical interests include document production and retrieval software,computer networks, computer languages, and human-computer interfaces.