An open access project to provide scientific polar data and information has been launched by a consortium of international science and research organisations. The Polar Information Commons is designed to provide a long term, open access framework for polar data. The resource will be managed by the polar science and data community.
The project was launched on 8 June at the International Polar Year Oslo Science Conference. The goal is to provide a shared, community-based cyber-infrastructure for fostering innovation and enhancing international and interdisciplinary research, education, planning and management in the polar regions.
PIC is being developed as a fast and easy-to-use open data resource that will be accessible through normal search and browser tools. It has been designed to enable rapid data access without qualification and to create a long-term repository of critical data.
The system will allow researchers to expose their data to others in a timely fashion through open protocols on the internet. Metadata does not need to be formally registered in repositories or catalogues as they can be exposed to search engines or broadcast through syndication services such as RSS and Atom. All data will be branded as part of the PIC and open to use without restrictions. The system will alert global agencies and centres when new data is added.
Partners in the project include the International Council for Science, the International Arctic Science Council, the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics and the World Meteorological Organisation.