“Because the state of natural systems is never repeated, data losses, or missed data collection opportunities can never be corrected.” So says the AGU, recently reaffirming the importance of data availability and preservation.
The statement offers strong support for data archiving and publication as a routine part of the research process.
The cost of collecting, processing, validating, and submitting data to a recognized archive should be an integral part of research and operational programs. Such archives should be adequately supported with long-term funding. Organizations and individuals charged with coping with the explosive growth of Earth and space digital data sets should develop and offer tools to permit fast discovery and efficient extraction of online data, manually and automatically, thereby increasing their user base. The scientific community should recognize the professional value of such activities by endorsing the concept of publication of data, to be credited and cited like the products of any other scientific activity, and encouraging peer-review of such publications.
The full statement from the AGU Council can be found here.