Elsevier and IEDA Announce Winner of 2013 Data Rescue Competition for Earth Sciences

January 7, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, January 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

Elsevier [http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/homepage.cws_home ], a world-leading
provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and IEDA
[http://www.iedadata.org ] (Integrated Earth Data Applications), an NSF-funded data
facility in the geosciences at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia
University, announced the winner of the 2013 International Data Rescue Award in the
Geosciences at the American Geophysical Union meeting. The award – a stone trophy and $
5,000 – was awarded to the NIMBUS Data Rescue Project, developed by the Distributed Active
Archive Center (DAAC) at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

The International Data Rescue Award in the Geosciences has been established in 2013 by
Elsevier and IEDA with the aim to improve preservation and access of data in the earth
sciences discipline. This year’s winner, The NIMBUS Data Rescue Project, managed the
recovery, reprocessing and digitization of the infrared and visible observations of the
Nimbus I, II and III satellites which were collected from 1964 to 1970, along with their
navigation and formatting. Over 4,000 7-track tapes of global infrared satellite data were
read and reprocessed. Nearly 200,000 visible light images were scanned, rectified and
navigated. All the resultant data was converted to HDF-5 (NetCDF) format and freely
distributed to users from NASA and NSIDC servers. This data was then used to calculate
monthly sea ice extents for both the Arctic and the Antarctic.

“The Nimbus project rescued data of high relevance to climate research, extending the
climatic record in the polar regions back for at least 16 years. The quality of the rescue
process was exemplary. It had to overcome enormous challenges, requiring the development
of hardware and software to recover the data from decayed media. What made this project
the winner project though was the fact that it actually improved the quality of the
original data for future use and that the approach that was developed can be re-used to
rescue other dataset,” said Kerstin Lehnert, Director of IEDA and chair of the judging

In addition, three projects were singled out for honorary mention:

        - oldWeather, by the Zooniverse team (http://www.oldweather.org) - an
          effort that engages citizen volunteers to transcribe and curate weather observations
          from ships' logs, recorded decades and centuries ago;
        - Nuclear explosion signals (
          http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/Monitoring/Data), a project that captured the
          information from 8,000 Soviet-era magnetic tapes, each holding about 10 megabytes of
          earthquake and explosion signal data archived at Borovoye, Kazakhstan, by Paul
          Richards and his team at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University,
          the Institute of Dynamics of the Geospheres in Moscow, and the Russia Institute of
          Geophysical Research in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan;
        - Unlocking the Landsat archive (


          ) by Lockheed Martin Australia, focused on making available the images
          from six functional LANDSAT satellites spanning from 1972 to the current LANDSAT 5 and
          7 missions, constituting the longest running enterprise for acquisition of satellite
          imagery of Earth.

In launching the competition, Elsevier and IEDA aimed to showcase the breadth, depth
and diversity of existing initiatives for disclosing research data within the field of
geosciences, to promote recognition of these efforts and to encourage new developments in
this direction. In addition, they are hoping to encourage the establishment of a
multi-disciplinary community across all areas of geosciences to discuss the multitude of
tools and methods that are being developed to rescue data from oblivion and stimulate the
sharing of knowledge, tools and standards pertaining to making research data reusable
across various earth and environmental sciences domains.

Anita de Waard, Vice President Research Data Services at Elsevier commented, “In Earth
Sciences in particular, discovering old data is at least as important as finding new data.
All the submissions in this competition have shown ingenuity, perseverance and that very
hard work can make unique historical contributions available to the modern-day
geoscientist. We are happy to have helped bring together this valuable group of
contributions and honor their achievements.”

The judges’ panel was formed by:

        - Linda Gundersen, US Geological Survey
        - Helen Glaves, British Geological Survey
        - Kerstin Lehnert, IEDA (Chair)
        - Mark Parsons, Research Data Alliance
        - Lesley Wyborn, Geoscience Australia
        - Ilya Zaslavsky, University of California, San Diego

Details of the competition criteria and a link to the submitted proposals can be found
on the Data Rescue Award website: http://researchdata.elsevier.com/datachallenge

Notes for editors

For more information about the initiative, contact organizers: Anita de Waard, Vice
President Research Data Collaborations, Elsevier Research Data Services:
a.dewaard@elsevier.com, or Kerstin Lehnert, Director, IEDA:

About Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA)

IEDA or Integrated Earth Data Applications is a community-based data facility funded
by the US National Science Foundation [http://www.nsf.gov ] (NSF) to support, sustain, and
advance the geosciences by providing data services for observational solid earth data from
the Ocean, Earth, and Polar Sciences. IEDA systems enable these data to be discovered and
reused by a diverse community now and in the future. IEDA operates and maintains system
such as the EarthChem Library, the Marine Geoscience Data System, PetDB, Geochron,
GeoMapApp, and the System for Earth Sample Registration SESAR. http://www.iedadata.org

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information
products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health
communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet
[http://www.thelancet.com ] and Cell [http://www.cell.com ], and 25,000 book titles,
including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online solutions
include ScienceDirect [http://www.sciencedirect.com ], Scopus [http://www.scopus.com ],
SciVal [http://info.scival.com ], Reaxys [http://www.elsevier.com/reaxys ], ClinicalKey
[https://www.clinicalkey.com ] and Mosby’s Suite [http://www.confidenceconnected.com ],
which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, helping research and
health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier [http://www.elsevier.com ]
employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC
[http://www.reedelsevier.com ], a world leading provider of professional information
solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly
owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext
Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

        Media contact
        Harald Boersma
        Director Corporate Relations, Elsevier

SOURCE Elsevier

Source: PR Newswire

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