Elsevier and the Integrated Earth Data Applications facility at Columbia University have announced a competition to improve preservation of and access to research data in the earth sciences. 

Members of the international geosciences community who have worked on preservation and improved access of research data, particularly dark data, can share their work and advise on ways that these data are being processed, stored and used. 

They are hoping to improve disclosure of research data, promote recognition of those efforts and to encourage new developments. They also want to increase awareness of the tools and methods that are being developed to rescue data from oblivion and stimulate the sharing of knowledge, tools and standards pertaining to making research data reusable across various earth and environmental sciences domains. 

It's called the International Data Rescue Competition. As part of the submission process each participant must describe different aspects of their data rescue project, including: 

- Examples of the data as it looked before and after the rescue process;
- A description of ways in which the data could be or is used after being made available electronically;
- A description of metadata, models and standards and the data repository or collection used to make the data available to be accessed and used;
- A description of the rescue process, whether it be manual, automated, or a combination of both.

 A panel of judges will assess the submissions and invite the top ten proposals to a special award ceremony to be held in December 2013. The award will consist of a Data Rescue trophy and $ 5,000. 

 The judges' panel is: 

- Linda Gundersen, US Geological Survey
- Helen Glaves, British Geological Society
- Kerstin Lehnert, IEDA (Chair)
- Mark Parsons, Research Data Alliance
- Lesley Wyborn, Geoscience Australia
- Ilya Zaslavsky, University of California, San Diego 

 Researcher proposals are welcome to be submitted until October 10, 2013. Details of the competition criteria can be found at the link.