Google pulls its research datasets service

Early in 2008 there was a lot of excitement around the announcement that Google was about to launch a free service for hosting research datasets as noted in our blog posting Google to host research datasets twelve months ago.

Less widely reported so far – and I had missed it until I saw it in the Open Access News – was the report by Wired that Google has withdrawn the proposed service first known as Palimpsest (and later re-named Google Research Datasets).

Unfortunately the proposed service seems to have fallen prey to the credit crunch. The issue of sustainable funding for long-term services for datasets and the challenges of doing this in the current commercial environment are thrown into stark relief. For further information and comment see the Wired blog Google shutters its Science Data Service.

One Response to “Google pulls its research datasets service”

  1. Chris Rusbridge on 23 Jan 2009 at 11:25 am

    Neil, I quite liked Dorothea Salo’s reaction to this,


    and suspect her natural cynicism (!) may have nailed some of the reasons, beyond just the credit crunch…

    “… Google turned off its sneakernet mass-data service, before really even turning it on. I have no inside intel on why this happened, but I do have two strong suspicions: one, uptake was
    minimal (which any card-carrying repo-rat could have told Google would happen, but oh well), and two, the sad few contributed datasets werent anything that would set the world on fire, especially given a critical lack of assessment or metadata or organization or anything else that would make the data worth keeping.”

    It would be nice to know more of the inside story here…

    [comment from posting originally to digital-preservation email list]

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