Alliance for Permanent Access to the Records of Scienceby Keith Jeffery
The Alliance for Permanent Access to Records of Science (usually referred to by its acronym APA) has been set up by concerned persons representing organisations working on digital preservation/curation who believe that the record of science must be curated for future use. APA is a not-for-profit organization registered in the Netherlands.
Some information has only one chance of capture (eg state of the earth at any one time); other information is expensive to reproduce by collection/observation, experiment or simulation. APA membership includes national libraries, large data/computing centres; funding organizations, scholarly publishers and organizations concerned with digital preservation/curation. STFC is a member and indeed the author currently holds the chairmanship of the Executive Board. The organisation intends to provide the point of reference in Europe (and wider) for all matters related to digital preservation/curation of the scientific record. Indeed, already APA has interacted strongly with and/or participated in groups such as e-IRG (the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group) associated with ESFRI (the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) and a member of ERC (European research Council) attended the first conference. At present APA is working on organising a workshop on metadata for curation.
APA organized its first annual conference in Budapest in November 2008 with a theme concerning business models for curation and preservation. The second was held in The Hague November 2009. At the second conference keynote talks were given on PARSE.Insight by Dave Giaretta of STFC and on GEANT and e-Infrastructure by Konstantinos Glinos of the EC. A talk on R&D and Technical Tools was given by Andreas Rauber (Vienna University of Technology and ERCIM vice president and Director for AARIT, and previous Cor Baayen Award Winner). With sessions on scientific community insights and cross-community insights the conference achieved its objective of both informing and stimulating common approaches.
The Conference Chair was Peter Tindemans who in many ways is the father of APA. His key summarising messages were that we needed better R&D leading to technology for preservation/curation but above all we needed R&D to generate sustainable business models and legal models for rights backed by policies (including research funders providing resources for curation) and that APA should communicate its expertise to the EC and to national governments as well as to other appropriate international bodies.
APA Executive Director