Extending the Research Data Toolkit: Data Curation Primers


  • Cynthia Hudson-Vitale Pennsylvania State University https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5581-5678
  • Hannah Hadley Pennsylvania State University
  • Jennifer Moore Washington University in St. Louis
  • Lisa Johnston University of Minnesota
  • Wendy Kozlowski Cornell University
  • Jake Carlson University of Michigan
  • Mara Blake Johns Hopkins University
  • Joel Herndon Duke University




Niche and proprietary data formats used in cutting-edge research and technology have specific curation considerations and challenges. The increased demand for subject liaisons, library archivists, and digital curators to curate this variety of data types created locally at an institution or organization poses difficulties. Subject liaisons possess discipline knowledge and expertise for a given domain or discipline and digital curation experts know how to properly steward data assets generally. Yet, a gap often exists between the expertise available within the organization and local curation needs.

While many institutions and organizations have expertise in certain domains and areas, oftentimes the heterogeneous data types received for deposit extend beyond this expertise. Additionally, evolving research methods and new, cutting-edge technology used in research often result in unfamiliar and niche data formats received for deposit. Knowing how to ‘get-started’ in curating these file types and formats can be a particular challenge. To address this need, the data curation community have been developing a new set of tools – data curation primers. These primers are evolving documents that detail a specific subject, disciplinary area or curation task, and that can be used as a reference or jump-start to curating research data. This paper will provide background on the data curation primers and their content detail the process of their development, highlight the data curation primers published to date, emphasize how curators can incorporate these resources into workflows, and show curators how they can get involved and share their own expertise.





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