Following the recent public announcement that the UK’s AHRC intends to withdraw funding from the Arts and Humanities Data Service, the following petition has been set up at the British Government’s website.
On 11 May 2007, Professor Phillip Esler, Chief Executive of the AHRC, wrote to University Vice-Chancellors informing them of the Council’s decision to withdraw funding from the AHDS after eleven years. The AHDS has pioneered and encouraged awareness and use among Britain’s university researchers in the arts and humanities of best practice in preserving digital data created by research projects funded by public money. It has also ensured that this data remains publically available for future researchers. It is by no means evident that a suitable replacement infrastructure will be established and the AHRC appears to have taken no adequate steps to ensure the continued preservation of this data. The AHDS has also played a prominent role in raising awareness of new technologies and innovative practices among UK researchers. We believe that the withdrawal of funding for this body is a retrograde step which will undermine attempts to create in Britain a knowledge economy based on latest technologies. We ask the Prime Minister to urge the AHRC to reconsider this decision.
You must be a British citizen or resident to sign the petition.