The long-term preservation of scientific and technical data is designed to perpetuate information in digital form so as to make it accessible to different user communities. Without a long-term approach, stored data quickly becomes unusable because of technological developments that may affect solutions previously believed to be permanent. The organized archiving of data is insufficient in itself, because the user expects from an archive not only the data, but the information it contains.

Adding value to data can thus be understood as the ability to restore this information without loss or distortion so as to match user needs. Added value is currently a major challenge. The meaning of data sometimes varies according to the professional profile of the person who is going to use it. What technologies and methodologies should be used to preserve this data so that it can be correctly interpreted without any help from its creators? How can we standardize the identification and structuring of the elements making up that meaning so that they can be recognised and used in the future, as today, by as many users as possible?

Much scientific and technical data is kept because it is the record of observations or phenomena which will never happen again, because it is part of a long time series or because it forms part of the heritage that future generations will need to understand their present. Data managers are therefore increasingly required to ensure the long-term preservation and to add value to data as an integral part of their responsibilities.

What technological, methodological, standardizing and economic prospects are now opening up in this field?

These will be some of the issues addressed during the symposium.


- Current systems and services
- Lessons learnt
- Knowledge-oriented preservation
- Technology and standards
- Added-value services
- Future prospects