The DCN developed a standardized set of C-U-R-A-T-E-D steps and checklists to ensure that all datasets submitted to the Network receive consistent treatment (DCN, 2018). The CURATE(D) Checklists (pdf) were drafted in the planning phase of the project and further enhanced by members of the DCN at the First Annual All Hands Meeting in July, 2018 (view version 1). The CURATE(D) steps were revised in 2022 by numerous members of the DCN.

CCheck files/code and read documentation (risk mitigation, file inventory, appraisal/selection) – checklist

UUnderstand the data (or try to), if not… (run files/code, QA/QC issues, readmes) – checklist

RRequest missing information or changes (tracking provenance of any changes and why) – checklist

AAugment metadata for findability (DOIs, metadata standards, discoverability) – checklist

TTransform file formats for reuse (data preservation, conversion tools, data visualization) – checklist

EEvaluate for FAIRness (transparent usage licenses, responsibility standards, metrics for tracking use) – checklist

DDocument all curation activities throughout the process – checklist

Data Curation Primers

Data curation primers are peer-reviewed, living documents that detail a specific subject, disciplinary area or curation task and that can be used as a reference to curate research data. The links below are to the live, editable copies in GitHub while archived pdf versions are available in the DCN repository.

All primers have been licensed under a CC-BY 4.0 license. We invite and welcome contributions and corrections to existing primers.

We also welcome new primers! Reach out with an idea, and use our public primer template to get started.

Authors of primers include archivists and data librarians who attended the 2018-2020 Specialized Data Curation Workshops presented by the Data Curation Network (IMLS RE-85-18-0040-18).

Accessibility Data PrimerCreators: Emily Oxford and Rachel Woodbrook
Mentor: ​Wendy Kozlowski
Archaeology Data PrimerCreators: Maria Arteaga Cuevas, Rachel Fernandez, and Hollis Wittman
Mentors: Sophia Lafferty-Hess
Acrobat PDF PrimerCreators: Peace Ossom-Williamson, Nicole Contaxis, Margaret Lam and Adam Kriesberg
Mentor: ​Jake Carlson
Audiovisual Data Curation PrimerCreators: Madina Grace, Meg Jerrild, and Lauren Phegley
Mentor: JA Pryse
ATLAS.ti PrimerCreator:  Margarita Corral
Affiliated contributor: Hannah Hadley
Mentor: ​Dave Fearon
Clinical Trials Data PrimerCreators: Liliana Gonzalez, Mikala Narlock, Shawna Taylor
Mentors: Jen Darragh and Sophia Lafferty-Hess
Column Binary Data PrimerCreators: Jessica Ko and Kelsie Norek
Mentors: Wendy Kozlowski and Neggin Keshavarzian
Confocal Microscopy Image PrimerCreators: Susan Ivey, Amy Koshoffer, Gretchen Sneff and Huajin Wang
Mentor: Lisa Johnston
Consent Forms PrimerCreators: Shanda Hunt, Alicia Hofelich Mohr and Rachel Woodbrook
Databases PrimerCreator: Xuying Xin
Mentor: Dave Fearon
Genetic Data Curation PrimerCreators: Laura Bowman, Shannon Sheridan, Briana Wham, and Sarah Wright
Mentor: Sarah Wright
Geodatabase PrimerCreators: Andrew Battista, Tom Brittnacher, Zenobie Garrett, Jennifer Moore and Carrie Pirmann
Mentor: Mara Blake
GeoJSON PrimerCreators: Nadia Dixson, Genevieve Milliken, Keshav Mukunda, Reina Murray and Rachel Starry
Mentor: Mara Blake
GeoTIFF PrimerCreators: Courtney Kearney, Nick Ruhs, Mara Sedlins, Tracy Tien, Jessica Trelogan and John Watts
Mentor: Jennifer Moore
Google Docs PrimerCreators: Nadia Dixson and Adam Kriesberg
Mentor: Sophia Lafferty-Hess
Human Participants Data Essentials PrimerCreators: Jen Darragh, Alicia Hofelich Mohr, Shanda Hunt, Rachel Woodbrook, Dave Fearon, Jennifer Moore and Hannah Hadley
Interdisciplinary and Highly Collaborative Research (IHCR) Data PrimerCreators: Inna Kouper, Andrew M. Johnson, Jordan Wrigley, and Aditya Ranganath
Mentors: Neggin Keshavarzian and Mikala Narlock
ISO Images PrimerCreators: Kate Barron and Jonathan Bohan
Mentor: Cynthia Hudson Vitale
Jupyter Notebooks PrimerCreators: Daina Bouquin, Sophie Hou, Matthew Benzing and Lee Wilson
Mentor: Susan Borda
Matlab PrimerCreators: Sam Sciolla and Susan Borda
Microsoft Access PrimerCreators: Fernando Rios
Mentor: Dave Fearon
Microsoft Excel PrimerCreators: Greg Janée, Sandra Sawchuk and Ho Jung Yoo
Mentor: Wendy Kozlowski
Neuroimaging DICOM and NIfTI PrimerCreators: Michael Moore, Brandon Patterson, Sara Samuel, Helenmary Sheridan, Chris Sorensen
Mentor: Joel Herndon
netCDF Primer and Tutorial using an NCAR datasetCreator: Sam Sciolla, Susan Borda and Sophie Hou
NVivo PrimerCreator: Hannah Hadley
Affiliated contributor: Margarita Corral
Mentor: Dave Fearon
Oral History Interviews PrimerCreators: J.A. Pryse, Matthew Harp, Sara Mannheimer, Wanda Marsolek and Wind Cowles
Mentor: Lisa Johnston
Qualitative Data PrimerCreators: Diana Castillo, Heather Coates, Mikala Narlock
Mentor: Shanda Hunt
R PrimerCreators: Lynda Kellam, Katherine Koziar and Stanislav Pejša
Mentor: Joel Herndon
SAS PrimerCreator: Qiong Xu
Mentor: Jen Darragh
SPSS PrimerCreators: Sai Deng, Joshua Dull, Jeanine Finn and Shahira Khair
Mentor: Sophia Lafferty-Hess
STL PrimerCreators: Elizabeth Blackwood, Doug Joubert and James Sobczak
Mentor: Jennifer Moore
Simple Darwin Core for Non-Biologists PrimerCreators: Megan N. O’Donnell and Leslie M. Delserone
Mentor: Jake Carlson
Tableau PrimerCreators: Christine Malinowski and Trisha Adamus
Mentor: Wendy Kozlowski
Twitter PrimerCreators: Marley Kalt and Dorris Scott
Mentor: Wendy Kozlowski
WordPress.com PrimerCreator: Heather James
Mentor: Lisa Johnston