Data are becoming the proverbial coin of the digital realm: a research commodity that might purchase reputation credit in a disciplinary culture of data sharing, or buy transparency when faced with funding agency mandates or publisher scrutiny. Unlike most monetary systems, however, digital data can flow in all too great an abundance. Not only does this currency actually “grow” on trees, but it comes from animals, books, thoughts, and each of us! And that is what makes data curation so essential. The abundance of digital research data challenges library and information science professionals to harness this flow of information streaming from research discovery and scholarly pursuit and preserve the unique evidence for future use.
Volume One of Curating Research Data explores the variety of reasons, motivations, and drivers for why data curation services are needed in the context of academic and disciplinary data repository efforts. Twelve chapters, divided into three parts, take an in-depth look at the complex practice of data curation as it emerges around us. Part I sets the stage for data curation by describing current policies, data sharing cultures, and collaborative efforts currently underway that impact potential services. Part II brings several key issues, such as cost recovery and marketing strategy, into focus for practitioners when considering how to put data curation services in action. Finally, Part III describes the full lifecycle of data by examining the ethical and practical reuse issues that data curation practitioners must consider as we strive to prepare data for the future.
Digital data is ubiquitous and rapidly reshaping how scholarship progresses now and into the future. The information expertise of librarians can help ensure the resiliency of digital data, and the information it represents, by addressing how the meaning, integrity, and provenance of digital data generated by researchers today will be captured and conveyed to future researchers.
Johnston, Lisa R.
"Introduction to Data Curation" from Curating Research Data Volume One: Practical Strategies for Your Digital Repository.
Association of College & Research Libraries.
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