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Data curation is the active and ongoing management of data through its lifecycle of interest and usefulness to scholarship, science, and education. Data curation enables data discovery and retrieval, maintains data quality, adds value, and provides for re-use over time through activities including authentication, archiving, management, preservation, and representation.

-Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Data Curation Network

Data Curation Network (DCN): (

Collaborative model for curating research data across academic and general data repositories.

CURATE Model (

The DCN has developed a CURATE model, including a series of steps to curate research data: Check, Understand, Request, Augment, Transform and Evaluate.

Data curation primers are interactive, living documents that detail a specific subject, disciplinary area or curation task and that can be used as a reference to curate research data.

Some of the primers are: 

Data Curation Centre (DCC) Model

The digital curation lifecycle model developed by The Data Curation Centre (DCC) is one of the most widely used models and it covers the following curation actions:

  • Full lifecycle actions (Description and Representation Information, Preservation Planning, Community Watch and Participation, Curate and Preserve)
  • Sequential actions (Conceptualise, Create or Receive, Appraise and Select, Ingest, Preservation Action, Store, Access, Use and Reuse, Transform)
  • Occasional actions (Dispose, Reappraise, Migrate).

For a quick overview of data curation, visit “Digital Curation: A How-To-Do-It Manual.”

Data Curation Profile

A Data Curation Profile is a document about the origin of a dataset or a collection and its lifecycle within a research project. It describes the data generated and used in research that may be published, shared and preserved for future reuse and repurposing. The Data Curation Profile records requirements for specific data generated by a single scientist, scholar or research group based on their needs and requirements. It can be created by librarians, archivists, IT professionals and/or data managers through interviewing the researcher(s) and documenting the results.

The DCP Toolkit sponsored by Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) can be used as a tool to conduct data curation interview. It can be downloaded at:

Some completed Data Curation Profiles can be found at the Data Curation Profile Directory.

Humanities Data Curation

Data curation intersects with a few specific actions and processes in the practical context, including: description, annotation, collection/aggregation, storage and migration.

Several major types of research objects and collections that present distinctive forms of data and distinctive curation challenges have been identified:

  • Scholarly editions
  • Text corpora
  • Text with markup
  • Thematic research collections
  • Data with accompanying analysis or annotation
  • Finding aids

Some strategic points concerning the treatment of this data need to be stressed:

  • The importance of interpretive layering
  • The importance of information about how the data is captured and prepared
  • The importance of capturing responsibility, editorial voice, and debate

This information is from:

“An Introduction to Humanities Data Curation” (Julia Flanders & Trevor Muñoz)

Data Curation Tools

Data Preparation

Colectica for Microsoft Excel

Nesstar Publisher


Data Analysis and Visualization

ArcGIS         ChemBioOffice         GAUSS        

IDL        MATLAB         NVIVO         R         SAS         

SPSS         SIGMAPLOT         STATA         UCINET 

Files & Notes Sharing, Lab Management

Dropbox      Google Drive      LabArchives

Jupyter        LabTrove           Open Science Framework      OpenWetware

Data Management Plan and Persistent ID Assignment

DMPTool     DataCite