Archiving FS Software?

Some ideas on archiving Forest Service software as digital research output.

From: Jessel, Tanner – FS
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Pye, John -FS < >
Subject: Archiving FS Software?

Hi John,

Because my background is library science and data archival, I am very interested in the long-term archival of PNW research products.

While at PNW, I have noticed that our researchers produce a notable amount of computer software.

I suppose that includes web software along with downloadable executable files or “.msi” files, or extensions to ArcGIS.

I wonder if you happen to know if the Research Data Archive would be able to support archival of executable files, or other computer code, to provide a stable long-term “home” for executable research output?

If the RDA is not able to host code or executable files, I wanted to point out two possible ideas:

1. A Forest Service Institutional Repository for Code on FigShare:


2. A Forest Service GitHub, similar to the GSA GitHub: and

A related problem is that the native environment for Forest Service software tools regularly disappears over time.

I read in tech news that Windows Vista would no longer be supported – it brings up an interesting question of emulators. It seems like, over time, a lot of our software tools will be rendered inoperable as their native operating systems and environments are deprecated.

There’s a lot of interest in software curation / native OS emulation / virtualization in the Library Sciences.

A presentation on it here, from Yale University Dean of University Libraries:



Thanks for any info on if RDA could function as a long-term home for either code or executable files. I suppose the alternative ideas, if RDA isn’t set up to work that way, are just thoughts to hold on to.


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About Tanner Jessel

I am a recent M.S. in Information Science graduate from the University of Tennessee School of Information Science. I was formerly a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth). Prior, I worked for four years as a content lead and biodiversity scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Biodiversity Informatics Program. Building on my work experience in biodiversity and environmental informatics, my work with DataONE focused on exploring the nature of scientific collaborations necessary for scientific inquiry. I also conducted research concerning user experience and usability, and assisted in development of member nodes with an emphasis on spatial data and infrastructure. I assisted with research designed to understand sociocultural issues within collaborative research communities. Through August 1, 2014, I was based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Posted on April 14, 2017, in Uncategorized, USFS Research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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