You are here:  Home  >  Data Education  >  Current Article

What is Data Curation?

By   /  December 25, 2017  /  No Comments

Data CurationData Curation, as defined by The University of Illinois’ Graduate School of Library and Information Science: “is the active and ongoing management of data through its life cycle of interest and usefulness.” Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean for Research Data Management at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and leader of the Data Conservancy, further breaks down Data Curation iterative activities to:

  • Preserving: Collecting and taking care of research data.
  • Sharing: Revealing data’s potential across domains
  • Discovering: Promoting the re-use and new combinations of data

According to Alation:

“In practice, data curation is more concerned with maintaining and managing the metadata rather than the database itself and, to that end, a large part of the process of data curation revolves around ingesting metadata such as schema, table and column popularity, usage popularity, top joins/filters/queries. Data curators not only create, manage, and maintain data, but may also be involved in determining best practices for working with that data. Data curators often present the data in a visual format such as a chart, dashboard or report.”

Other definitions of Data Curation include:

  • “The processes of collecting data from diverse sources and integrating it into repositories that are many more times more valuable than the independent parts.” (techrepublic)
  • “Digital curation involves maintaining, preserving and adding value to digital research data throughout its lifecycle.” (Digital Curation Centre)
  • “The process of “caring” for Data, including to organizing, describing, cleaning, enhancing and preserving data for public use. Through curation the ICPSR (the International Leader in Data Stewardship) provides meaningful and enduring access to data.” (ICPSR)
  • “A means of managing data that makes it more useful for users engaging in data discovery and analysis.” (Alation)

Businesses perform Data Curation to:

Data Curation processes:


Photo Credit: chombosan /Shutterstock.com

About the author

Michelle Knight enjoys putting her information specialist background to use by writing technical articles on enhancing Data Quality, lending to useful information. Michelle has written articles on W3C validator for SiteProNews, SEO competitive analysis for the SLA (Special Libraries Association), Search Engine alternatives to Google, for the Business Information Alert, and Introductions on the Semantic Web, HTML 5, and Agile, Seabourne INC LLC, through AboutUs.com. She has worked as a software tester, a researcher, and a librarian. She has over five years of experience, contracting as a quality assurance engineer at a variety of organizations including Intel, Cigna, and Umpqua Bank. During that time Michelle used HTML, XML, and SQL to verify software behavior through databases Michelle graduated, from Simmons College, with a Masters in Library and Information with an Outstanding Information Science Student Award from the ASIST (The American Society for Information Science and Technology) and has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Smith College. Michelle has a talent for digging into data, a natural eye for detail, and an abounding curiosity about finding and using data effectively.

You might also like...

Thinking Inside the Box: How to Audit an AI

Read More →