Data Preservation in High Energy Physics

Data from high-energy physics experiments are collected with significant
financial and human effort and are mostly unique. However, until recently
no coherent strategy existed for data preservation and re-use, and many
important and complex data sets have simply been lost. While the current
focus is on the LHC at CERN, in the current period several important and
unique experimental programs at other facilities are coming to an end,
including those at HERA, b-factories and the Tevatron. To address this
issue, an inter-experimental study group on HEP data preservation and
long-term analysis (DPHEP) was convened at the end of 2008. The group now
aims to publish a full and detailed review of the present status of data
preservation in high energy physics. This contribution summarises the
results of the DPHEP study group, describing the challenges of data
preservation in high energy physics and the group's first conclusions and
recommendations. The physics motivation for data preservation, generic
computing and preservation models, technological expectations and
governance aspects at local and international levels are examined.