CURATE Checklists

The DCN CURATE steps are used by curators in the Data Curation Network each time we curate a dataset. This adds consistency to our work, while also allowing for differences in data type and domain. Each steps comes with a detailed checklist for the specific actions. These are works in progress.

Data Curation Primers

Created by 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). Data curation primers are interactive, 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 editable copies in GitHub when available (see archived pdf versions available here).

Additional Tools created by DCN Members

Survey Tool –How mature is your data curation service? Download our survey (pdf)! The survey was developed as part of the Data Curation Spec Kit: (ARL, 2017).

Definitions of Data Curation Activities (DCN, 2016) – nearly 50 terms defined. See also the word doc version that used the definitions in a card rating exercise with faculty and librarians.

Data Curation Software Tools List (DCN, 2018) A crowdsourced list of tools helpful in the practice of data curation. This list was developed by members of the DCN during our First Annual All Hands Meeting in July, 2018, and this list is intended to be a living resource.

Dryad Guide to Opening Files A wiki page documenting various file types and how to work with them. This page was created by the Dryad Digital Repository.

Ebook: Curating Research Data: A handbook of current practice (ACRL Press, 2017). A free ebook detailing the sequential actions that you might take to curate a data set from receiving the data (Step 1) to eventual reuse (Step 8). Notably, this handbook includes 35 case studies from practitioners based at an international array of general, disciplinary, and institutional data repositories.

Software Curation: Johns Hopkins Libraries Data Management Services Resources for Research Software include: A Toolbox for Curating and Archiving Research Software for Data Management Specialists and online training modules on Planning for Software Reproducibility and Reuse.


Barriers to Collaboration: Lessons Learned from the Data Curation Network. Research Library Issues, no. 296 (2018): 37–43.

Data Curation Network: A Cross-Institutional Staffing Model for Curating Research Data. (2018). International Journal of Digital Curation. Vol 13 No 1.

How Important is Data Curation? Gaps and Opportunities for Academic Libraries. (2018). Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 6 (1), eP2198.
– Related Dataset and Interview Protocol:

SPEC Kit #354: Data Curation. (2017). Association of Research Libraries (ARL). May 2017.
– Related dataset:
– Webinar recording from June 14, 2017: 

Data Curation Network: How Do We Compare? A Snapshot of Six Academic Library Institutions’ Data Repository and Curation Services. (2017). Journal of eScience Librarianship 6(1): e1102.

Recent Presentations

  • Presentation (slides) to the Open Repositories Conference in Hamburg, Germany, June 10-13, 2019.
  • Poster presented at the Research Data Access and Preservation Summit, Coral Gables, FL, May 15-17, 2019.
  • Poster presented at the Research Data Alliance 13th Plenary in Philadelphia, PA, April 2-4, 2019.
  • Poster presented at the Research Data Alliance 13th Plenary in Philadelphia, PA, April 2-4, 2019.
  • Presentation (slides) to the NSF Data Sharing for Biological Anthropology Workshop in Milwaukee, WI, February 8-9, 2019
  • Presentation (slides) to the International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) in Melbourne, Australia on February 5, 2019.
  • Presentation (slides) to the DataOne Webinar December 11, 2018
  • Presentation (slides) to the RDAP Fall 2018 Webinar November, 8, 2018
  • Presentation (slides) at DLF Forum Las Vegas, NV October 16, 2018
  • Presentation (slides) at NISO virtual conference “Open Data Projects” June 13, 2018.
  • Presentation (slides) at IASSIST Annual Conference in Montréal, Canada, May 29, 2018 
  • Presentation (slides) at the CNI Spring 2018 Membership Meeting in San Diego, CA on April 12-13, 2018
  • Presentation (slides) at the Research Data Access, and Preservation (RDAP) Summit in Chicago, IL on March 22, 2018 
  • Poster presented at the Research Data Alliance 11th Plenary, Berlin, Germany, March 23, 2018
  • Presentation (slides) presented at the International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) in Barcelona, Spain February 20, 2018
  • Poster presented at the Community Standards for 3D Data Preservation, St. Louis, MN February 5, 2018

Additional reports and presentations from the Data Curation Network Project Planning Phase (2016-2017) are archived in the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy at

Featured Publication

Data Curation Network planning phase final report. Download PDF

Recorded Presentations