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Digital Curation Lesson and Dilbert Challenge

Curation is a popular word in library land lately.  We have co-opted it from the museum people and a bit from the archives folks and that’s good because maybe it helps to find some common words with some common ground.

Did you see Dilbert this weekend?

Check it out here:

So, as a public service to all my pals out in library land, here you go:

Curation from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Curation may refer to:

Curation may also be:

Digital curation from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Digital curation is the selection[1], preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets[2][3].

Digital curation is generally referred to the process of establishing and developing long term repositories of digital assets for current and future reference[2] 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.[4].

Aspects of digital curation

Digital curation entails:

  • Collecting verifiable digital assets
  • Providing digital asset search and retrieval
  • Certification of the trustworthiness and integrity of the collection content
  • Semantic and ontological continuity and comparability of the collection content

Challenges faced by digital curation

Significant[5] and major challenges faced by digital curation are:

  • Storage format evolution and obsolescence[6]
  • Rate of creation of new data and data sets
  • Broad access and searching flexibility and variety
  • Comparability of semantic and ontological definitions of data sets[6]

Response to digital curation challenges

The challenges faced by digital curation are resulting in:

  • specialised research institutions[7][8]
  • academic courses
  • dedicated symposia[9][10]
  • peer reviewed technical and industry journals[11]

to address the challenges.

Sheer curation

Sheer curation is an approach to digital curation where curation activities are quietly integrated into the normal work flow of those creating and managing data and other digital assets. The word sheer is used to emphasis the lightweight and virtually transparent nature of these curation activities. The term sheer curation was coined by Alistair Miles in the ImageStore project [12], and the UK Digital Curation Centre’s SCARP project [13]. The approach depends on curators having close contact or ‘immersion’ in data creators’ working practices. An example is the case study of a neuroimaging research group by Whyte et al., which explored ways of building its digital curation capacity around the apprenticeship style of learning of neuroimaging researchers, through which they share access to datasets and re-use experimental procedures [14].

Sheer curation depends on the hypothesis that good data and digital asset management at the point of creation and primary use is also good practice in preparation for sharing, publication and/or long-term preservation of these assets. Therefore, sheer curation attempts to identify and promote tools and good practices in local data and digital asset management in specific domains, where those tools and practices add immediate value to the creators and primary users of those assets. Curation can best be supported by identifying existing practices of sharing, stewardship and re-use that add value, and augmenting them in ways that both have short-term benefits, and in the longer term reduce risks to digital assets or provide new opportunities to sustain their long-term accessibility and re-use value.

The aim of sheer curation is to establish a solid foundation for other curation activities which may not directly benefit the creators and primary users of digital assets, especially those required to ensure long-term preservation. By providing this foundation, further curation activities may be carried out by specialists at appropriate institutional and organisation levels, whilst causing the minimum of interference to others.

A similar idea is curation at source used in the context of Laboratory Information Management Systems LIMS. This refers more specifically to automatic recording of metadata or information about data at the point of capture, and has been developed to apply semantic web techniques to integrate laboratory instrumentation and documentation systems [15] Sheer curation and curation-at-source can be contrasted with post hoc digital preservation, where a project is initiated to preserve a collection of digital assets that have already been created and are beyond the period of their primary use.

Web definitions,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=5891204ef431419f&biw=1257&bih=709

  • The act of curating, of organizing and maintaining a collection of artworks or artifacts; The act of curing or healing;  The manual updating of information in a database
  • The process of manually updating and refining a bioinformatics database. Literature-based curation involves updates database based on information found in the scientific literature. …
  • is a process of identification and organization of artworks in order to further knowledge. Curation includes verification and additions to the existing documentation for objects. Curators, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics web page “… …
  • the actions needed to maintain research data from point of creation to ensure they are fit for contemporary purpose and available for discovery and re-use. Implicit to this are the processes of archiving and preservation. …
  • if you don’t have much to say yourself, don’t worry: copy and paste what others are saying. This is a new, valuable service all on its own called ‘curation’. It’s easy to do (but is highly skillful also, got that?).

Anyone got a great DEFINITION?  We’ve been challenged by DILBERT!



Posted on: October 30, 2011, 7:09 pm Category: Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Thank you for blogging about this topic, which I’ve been following for a while now.

    There was a question on Quora that I think fits-

    Plus my YouTube video/presentation on this for a staff training –

    There are some great tools for social media/digital content curation –,,, etc. It’s evolving and morphing very quickly with other types of tools such as news aggregators to make everyone a citizen journalist/content curator.

    Thanks again!