What is digital curation

In addition to the term ‘Research Data Management’ there is an increasing use of a further term ‘Digital Curation’ which researchers should become familiar with.

"Digital curation is the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets.

Digital curation is generally referred to the process of establishing and developing long term repositories of digital assets for current and future reference by researchers, scientists, historians, and scholars. Enterprises are starting to utilize digital curation to improve the quality of information and data within their operational and strategic processes." Wikipedia 

The UK based Digital Curation Centre (DCC) is a leading centre of expertise in digital information curation.  It focusses on building capacity, capability and skills for research data management across the UK's higher education research community.  It is a key resource providing expert advice and practical help to anyone in UK higher education and research wanting to store, manage, protect and share digital research data.

The digital curation lifecycle

Digital curation and data preservation are ongoing processes, requiring considerable thought and the investment of adequate time and resources. You must be aware of, and undertake, actions to promote curation and preservation throughout the data lifecycle.

The digital curation lifecycle comprises the following steps:

  • Conceptualise: conceive and plan the creation of digital objects, including data capture methods and storage options.
  • Create: produce digital objects and assign administrative, descriptive, structural and technical archival metadata.
  • Access and use: ensure that designated users can easily access digital objects on a day-to-day basis. Some digital objects may be publicly available, whilst others may be password protected.
  • Appraise and select: evaluate digital objects and select those requiring long-term curation and preservation. Adhere to documented guidance, policies and legal requirements.
  • Dispose: rid systems of digital objects not selected for long-term curation and preservation. Documented guidance, policies and legal requirements may require the secure destruction of these objects.
  • Ingest: transfer digital objects to an archive, trusted digital repository, data centre or similar, again adhering to documented guidance, policies and legal requirements.
  • Preservation action: undertake actions to ensure the long-term preservation and retention of the authoritative nature of digital objects.
  • Reappraise: return digital objects that fail validation procedures for further appraisal and reselection.
  • Store: keep the data in a secure manner as outlined by relevant standards.
    Access and reuse: ensure that data are accessible to designated users for first time use and reuse. Some material may be publicly available, whilst other data may be password protected.
  • Transform: create new digital objects from the original, for example, by migration into a different form.

"Digital curation involves maintaining, preserving and adding value to digital research data throughout its lifecycle.

The active management of research data reduces threats to their long-term research value and mitigates the risk of digital obsolescence. Meanwhile, curated data in trusted digital repositories may be shared among the wider UK research community.

As well as reducing duplication of effort in research data creation, curation enhances the long-term value of existing data by making it available for further high quality research." DCC definition of digital curation

Further Information

Research Data material:

RDM Principles

Data Planning Documents

DMP Documents - Small file

Poster (pdf pdf)

University of Leicester Research Data Management poster

Brochure (pdf pdf)

Copies: researchdata@le.ac.uk 

Blog Data For Research Blog

Glossary

A-Z

books

Input and feedback

August 2018 - This website will be relaunched in September 2018. Feedback and input is welcome, so please let the library research services team know what type of content you would like to be included on the website by contacting us at researchdata@le.ac.uk.

RDM news and events
  1. The University of Leicester Figshare for data digital archive is now available for research staff and PhD students. User guidance on upload/data deposit.
  2. Information Governance training is now available, provided by e-LfH (an NHS organisation). The University has registered to access this NHS resource and individual accounts can be set up by sending name and email address to Andrew Burnham.
  3. There is now a standard University Privacy Impact Assessment process where data collection or receipt, or systems purchase or development may have privacy consequences
  4. The University has adopted a simple data classification model which must be applied by the research PI and/or data owner
  5. We share our RDM survey: overview findings presentation as well as the results of our 2015 survey on Your research data management needs
  6. There is now a University Information Governance web presence
  7. Our Data Management Planning documents have been updated - hard copies can be obtained if you contact researchdata@le.ac.uk
  8. Jisc has published a new RDM strategy document - "Directions for RDM Management in UK Universities"
  9. The Partridge Review - HSCIC Data Release Review - Full report (3.58 Mb) and Summary
  10. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) have published a new Research data policy underpinned by nine core principles and Data management plan guidance (26/03/2015)
  11. RDM Principles approved by the University.
  12. DMPonline version 4.0 - DCC "DMPonline" (Data Management Planning) v4 has gone live. You can use this web based form to create your Data Management Plan, and share it with your collaborators.
  13. Research funder specific web pages (accessible via 'Data Planning & Management - What you need to do') for data planning and management guidance (AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, and STFC)
  14. 'Data Planning & Management - what you need to' - a web page to take you through what you need to do about data planning and management.
  15. 'RDM - The Movie' is released! The 4 minute digital story of research data work here at Leicester.

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