Help Build #DataRefuge


There are many ways to be involved with building data refuge. They're not mutually exclusive!

Nominate vulnerable and valuable data to the End of Term Harvest 2016

If you know of government URLs to programs and/or downloadable data that is vulnerable and valuable, please let the End of Term Harvest (EOT) Team know about it. Their team will make sure it’s archived in a trustworthy manner, and will end up in the Internet Archive. Refer to the EOT team, and the Internet Archives Wayback Machine for more information on their sites. There are several ways to do contribute to this effort:

  1. Use the online nomination form.

  2. Install the Chrome bookmarklet that allows you to nominate URLs with one click. Instructions for installing the tool are at the bottom of this EOT page

  3. If nominating many URLs, use the Chrome Extension available at the Chrome Extensions Store (created by EDGI) to nominate pages using a spreadsheet.

  4. Send an email to Lauren Ko ( at the End of Term Harvest with a list of web addresses (preferably as a .csv file) where valuable and vulnerable data live.


Find out More about Climate Mirror

Host a #DataRescue event

#DataRescue events can take a variety of forms. Yours might be a teach-in, and/or a hack-a-thon style event, and/or still other ways you dream up. All #DataRescue events follow established protocols to make sure the data harvested are secure and reliable, maintaining provenance. Together we can build safe and reliable #DataRefuge.  

Read further for answers to Big Questions and Easier Questions, Click here to read How to Organize a #DataRescue Event

Big Questions

In planning to build data refuge, we face questions about what to save, how to save it, and why these activities are important. At a data rescue event, you may find yourselves focused on only one or two of these questions--or on different questions. Still other questions will emerge as data refuge expands. Together we’ll continue to develop ideas, tools, protocols, and practices to answer:


Ongoing human-made climate change is a widely accepted fact. It is accepted as such because of decades of data-driven analysis. Continued reliable access to federal data that feeds climate and environmental research is vital. The ease with which research communities can access federal data depends on social circumstances, including changing political contexts.

Our project also draws attention to the ways in which internet data is inherently unstable (consider recent epidemics of fake news). We thus want also to work to insure trustworthy information in a digital world. The practices and protocols that go into building data refuge will build trust in the data and educate about its reliability. We hope people will use these events to learn together, talk about these issues, and to look for ways that each data rescue event may also be a teach-in, a panel of speakers, or a community conversation considering:

  • How does your community use climate and environmental data?

  • What makes information trustworthy and reliable?

  • Who does environmental and climate research impact?

  • What data does not get collected? Who decides collection priorities?


Choosing the datasets to prioritize is a question that each data rescue event should decide on its own. You might begin with a conversation with local scientists, researchers, or community groups to address the federal environmental data sources they most rely on, or which ones they are most concerned about losing access to, or you may choose another approach. Together with Project_ARCC and many partners in professional networks, we are gathering information about the datasets that these partners most value. We are also interviewing experts to assess the relative vulnerability of priority datasets, according to their legal, political, and technical status as well as to their unique content.  

In time for our January 13-14 data rescue event in Philadelphia, we will have created a list of data that are especially valuable and vulnerable. We will be happy to distribute a subset of this list to ensure that there is not unnecessary duplication of effort.


Some DataRescue events might gather people with developed expertise in collecting, preserving, and providing access to the vast array of data. Alls data rescue events will also have access to tools developed by EDGI and #DataRefuge and #Project_ARCC, we’re working to build and share them.

Check back early and often also via twitter where we will announce updates to the Toolkit.

Easier Questions

Coming soon!