The UK’s central archive for arts and humanities data, the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) has unexpectedly lost half its funding after the Arts and Humanities Research Council withdrew the half a million pounds it contributed towards the running of the service.

I have a slightly vested interest in that I worked for the AHDS for several years, but even then this seems a poor decision to endanger a unit that is responsible for long-term preservation of digital data, and has had a pioneering role in setting up a working preservation service. There are not many others in existence in the world.

Even stranger is the four-line justification given on the funding council’s website. Most seasoned observers will not the statements are simply not true; the lack of accompanying evidence is telling.