- Jan 2014
An effective data management program would enable a user 20 years or longer in the future to discover , access , understand, and use particular data [ 3 ]. This primer summarizes the elements of a data management program that would satisfy this 20-year rule and are necessary to prevent data entropy .
Who cares most about the 20-year rule? This is an ideal that appeals to some, but in practice even the most zealous adherents can't picture what this looks like in some concrete way-- except in the most traditional ways: physical paper journals in libraries are tangible examples of the 20-year rule.
Until we have a digital equivalent for data I don't blame people looking for tenure or jobs for not caring about this ideal if we can't provide a clear picture of how to achieve this widely at an institutional level. For digital materials I think the picture people have in their minds is of tape backup. Maybe this is generational? New generations not exposed widely to cassette tapes, DVDs, and other physical media that "old people" remember, only then will it be possible to have a new ideal that people can see in their minds-eye.