We’re excited to announce that after months of testing the Data Curation Network is officially in production! We’re now curating data sets submitted from Network partner institutions with our unique cross-institutional curation service. This is a significant milestone for the project, which is currently in its first year of a three-year implementation phase (2018-2021) supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Institutions participating in the Network are the University of Minnesota (lead), Cornell University, Dryad Digital Repository, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Penn State University, University of Illinois, and the University of Michigan.

Over the past six months the Data Curation Network has engaged in a number of activities to prepare our team for launch. We held our first annual business meeting and curator training workshop, tested and fine-tuned our workflows, implemented a new system for tracking our curation work, and designed a brand new website: https://datacurationnetwork.org.

The last and most important of our pre-launch activities was to put all of the pieces together in an exercise we called the “Epic Pilot”. Each curator was assigned a dataset based on their expertise to curate using our CURATE protocol. Things that our curators look for include:

  • Are there missing files?
  • Is there sufficient documentation to enable reuse?
  • How future compatible are the file types?
  • Does the dataset and home repository meet FAIR standards?

The results of the Epic Pilot helped us to make improvements to the workflows, the tracking system and ensure that participating in the Data Curation Network is a positive experience for our team members.

Going forward, we will continue to test and improve our workflows, collect and analyze usage data on the types of data sets curated by the network, and research the impact that our curation activities have on the value of research data.

Our long term goals are to build and strengthen our data curator community by activities such as hosting specialized data curator training workshops (funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services RE-85-18-0040-18) and investigating paths to sustainability post-implementation phase.

The Data Curation Network will recruit and sponsor new partners in 2019. Academic libraries and/or data repositories interested in joining the implementation phase should send a letter of interest by March 31st, 2019. To find out more please visit the Criteria for New Partners page on our website.

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