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What data curation activities are more important to researchers than others? We asked them...

posted Dec 30, 2016, 7:48 AM by Lisa Johnston

The Data Curation Network held six focus groups in the fall of 2016 and asked 91 researchers from a wide variety of disciplines: how would you rate the “importance” of a variety of key data curation activities. Our preliminary results for the importance ranking of 35 data curation activities are presented in the table below. For a list of all the definitions of the data curation activities, along with a brief summary of our methodology and attendance numbers by discipline, see our preliminary results posted in the publications section.


Key finding: The five most important data curation activities indicated in our focus groups were creating documentation for data, preserving the “chain of custody” of a dataset, securely storing data, providing quality assurance for data, and minting a persistent identifier for a data set.


Figure 1: Results of the Average Ranking of Importance for Activities that were ranked by the Data Curation Network Focus Groups (5= highest importance, 1 = not important)

“Most Important”
Average Ranking of 4.0 - 4.9

“Important”
Average Ranking of
3.0 - 3.9

“Less Important”
Average Ranking of
2.0 - 2.9

“Not Important” Average Ranking of 1.0 - 1.9

Documentation, Chain of custody, Secure Storage, Quality Assurance

Persistent Identifier, Discovery Services, Curation Log, Technology Monitoring and Refresh, Software Registry, Data Visualization, File Audit, Metadata

Versioning, Contextualize, Code review, File Format Transformations, Interoperability, Data Cleaning, Embargo, Rights Management, Risk Management, Use Analytics, Peer-review, Terms of Use, Data Citation, File validation, Migration, File Inventory or Manifest, Metadata Brokerage, Deidentification, Repository Certification

Emulation, Restricted Access, Correspondence, Full-Text Indexing



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