March 4, 2017 | 10:00am-4:00pm

Research Hub

Davis Library, 208 Raleigh St, Chapel Hill, NC


DataRescue Workflow

Join us for a DataRescue event, with support from the School of Information and Library Science and University Library at UNC-Chapel Hill. In collaboration with DataRefuge, EDGI and the Internet Archive’s End of Term 2016 project, DataRescue Chapel Hill aims to preserve online information and data related to climate change and environmental programs that are identified as high risk for removal from online public access or even deleted.

DataRescue Chapel Hill is a one-day hack-a-thon type event welcome to volunteers from all backgrounds and technical abilities. Following a workflow developed by EDGI and the DataRefuge project, we will create trustworthy copies of federal climate change and environmental data. While the Internet Archive has been able to archive many government websites, it is unable to archive other types of information, particularly datasets. DataRescue events are a key piece in ensuring that these datasets are copied. The Internet Archive, DataRefuge and a consortium of research libraries hold these copies and keep them available for public access.

Who should volunteer?

We’re looking for people who are knowledgable about climate change and other environmental research areas, data scientists, hackers, archivists, librarians, writers, web designers, people with good communication skills, and anyone else who is eager to help.

How do I sign up?

If you are interested in helping to organize, coordinate and/or volunteer for the Chapel Hill DataRescue, please sign up here. Indicate on the form what role/team you would like to volunteer for at the event.

If you have any further questions, email Sangeeta Desai at

What should I bring?

Laptop, charger, water, snacks

Where do I park?

Parking restrictions on campus are usually lifted on Saturdays. The closest lots to Davis Library would be the Bynum and Lenoir lots, followed by the N5 lots at the Forest Theater and across from the UNC Press on Boundary Street. See UNC Transportation and Parking for more details.

Please note: While the parking office confirmed that these lots should be unaffected by the UNC v. Duke basketball game scheduled for the evening of March 4, drivers should still check for signage in the lots to ensure no restrictions have been placed on the lots, last minute. If last minute restrictions are placed on the lots, then you will need to either feed the meters at metered spots or park at the commercial lots on Rosemary and N. Columbia streets. The Rosemary lot charges an hourly fee.

Role Descriptions

Roles requiring advanced technical and/or archival skills


Researchers review URLs the Seeders and Sorters mark as “Uncrawlable”. Consider this path if you have strong front end web experience and like to find out more information about things.


Harvesters figure out how to capture the uncrawlable data. Consider this path if you’re a hacker. Harvesters take the “uncrawlable” data and try to figure out how to capture it. This is a complex task which can require substantial technical expertise and also requires different techniques for different tasks.


Checkers inspect a harvested dataset and make sure that it is complete. The main question the checkers need to answer is “will the bag make sense to a scientist?” Checkers need to have an in-depth understanding of harvesting goals and potential content variations for datasets. Previous work with scientific data is a plus.


Baggers perform a quality assurance check and package the data. Consider this path if you have data or web archiving experience, or have strong tech skills and attention to detail. As a bagger you will have to package the data into a bagit file (or “bag”), which includes basic technical metadata, and upload it to the final DataRefuge destination.


(This may include a few people from the Baggers path) Consider this path if you have experience working with scientific data, particularly climate or environmental data, or with creating metadata. Trained librarians and scientists will be very helpful on this path. Describers will create a CKAN account to help organize and fill out metadata for the datasets and URLs that have been downloaded. They then link to bags of data to make the data public and accessible.

Roles requiring basic or no technical skills


Consider this path if you’re on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, whatever), if you can use Storify, if you have good listening and writing skills, and/or if you can make creative engaging materials.


This is the widest path and requires a variety of skill levels. Consider this path if you are a coder, hacker, have front end web experience, or just have a great attention to details.


Consider this path if you’d like to build DataRefuge into the future. Future projects will also call attention to all the data that exists but can’t be captured in a single weekend as well as data that doesn’t exist, but should. Many kind of skills needed. Experience in public engagement projects and informal STEM education settings will be especially helpful.


Consider this path if you are interested in helping to organize the DataRescue and/or to keep the event running smoothly.