Please note: this site is currently in maintenance mode and will be restructured. Some features might not work as expected.

If anyone can upload data, how can I be sure of the reliability of the data? Couldn't someone upload false data to throw others off the track?
In order to upload data, the user must be registered and have an account. Anonymous uploads are not possible. A malicious user could upload false data, but through constant peer review this will quickly be discovered, with very negative effects on the account holder's scientific reputation. Publishing false data has always been a problem in the scientific community - the increased transparency and more efficient peer review process offered by the NESPOS system should help counter it.

What if the contributer simply makes a mistake? How can I judge the reliability of the data?
The NESPOS system makes a clear distinction between objective facts and interpretated conclusions. Additionally, a scientific "audit trail" allows other users to judge for themselves the confidence of the data.

Wrong: Specimen X is 30.000 years old
Right: A C14 analysis on specimen X (performed on 1.4.2002 by Bar-Labs) resulted in an estimated age of 30.000 (+/- 300) years BP. (contributed by User)

What is to prevent users from joining the NESPOS system, downloading all the data, then cancelling their membership once they have all the data?
Firstly, the datasets in the NESPOS system are not "public domain", they remain property of their respective owners. Without the explicit permission of the owners, it would be a breech of contract to continue to use the datasets after cancelling the membership. Secondly, NESPOS is more than a data store. It is a collaboration plattform. The membership has more to offer than simply the download service. We belive that by offering a superior online service for a fair membership fee, the users will choose to retain their memberships.

What about illegal copies? Couldn't a member download all the data and then secretly give copied to all his friends?
Aside from being a breech of contract, this would be of limited value for "his friends". They may have an illegal copy of a dataset, but can they publish work based on a dataset they shouldn't legally have, and thereby putting their scientific reputation at risk?

What about illegal casts? Someone could get a hold of a dataset and mass-produce casts for money!
Again, the benefits of owning an illegal cast are marginal. Why pay 40$ for an illegal cast of questionable quality and dubious origin instead of paying, for example, 49,- € for a NESPOS membership to get access to many more high quality datasets (as well as the collaboration services)? NESPOS should make it very hard for illegal cast producers to stay in business!

What about account sharing? Couldn't all members of an institution share a single account to prevent having to pay multiple fees?
NESPOS accounts are personal. This is to protect the users. Each user is responsible for his account and any data uploaded. Letting others use your account would be equivalent to letting others publish in your name (again, think of the reputation risks). We will be offering special volume prices for institutions so everyone can have their own personal account.

What is a via-file?
IEssentially, VISICORE archives are simply zip files with a .via extension. So you can easy rename the .via extension into zip, extract the data and work with the TIFF-files The via files contain the actual image or 3d data files and an xml description of the metadata involved. This xml description file is called MANIFEST.xml and specifies data such as unit size and dimensions. In addition, it contains a reference to the actual data files.