Résif-DC is committed to preserve data as long as possible and guarantee long term data reuse. While recognizing that data preservation is a difficult task, this article provides an insight of our approach to data preservation.
Keep the data safe
The main priority is to ensure that the data and metadata submitted by the data providers are safe for any risk we can identify (local natural disasters, cyber attacks, …). For each scenario, there is a technical response to mitigate the probability of it to cause damages and to minimize the impact on the data and the services. This implies multiple copies of the data in different geographical sites, checksum validation, etc.
Keep the data open, available and relevant through the use of international standards
The second priority is to ensure that the data and metadata are distributed to the users in a relevant, robust, and sustainable manner. At a daily operational level, this means duplication of services. Scientific long term relevance is based on the use of international standards for data, metadata and services as defined by the FDSN.
Seismological data are stored and distributed in the standard miniSEED format, and the metadata are stored in stationXML. These standards are widely used in the community, with a strong support from community tools and programming languages. The data center staff and all of Résif-SI actively participate in the international discussions on format evolution and is dedicated to adapt to new formats and to evolution of present formats.
Keep the data and data access secure in a changing institutional landscape
A continuous priority is to ensure the safe data and data distribution from a institutional and governance point of view, that is, to ensure the two priorities above in an evolving external landscape. Therefore, the datacentre has built in structural resilience both at a national and international level.
The datacentre is a national facility, which was developed within the framework of the national infrastructure Résif, which is part of the national roadmap of research infrastructures published by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. 18 institutional partners form the Résif consortium, and are the formal data providers to the datacentre. The national wide partnership and recognition is the best guarantee for resilience in the long term.
The datacentre can rely on additional resilience through a strong international partnership with other data center in Europe, all connected through the Orfeus Foundation. There is a principle agreement to transfer data and metadata for distribution by another data center in the unlikely event of a decision to close down the national datacentre. As all the datacenters are completely integrated together, the transfer process can even be fully transparent for the end user.