Value of Curation

What is the impact of data curation? Do curated datasets have greater measurable value than non-curated datasets? How do researchers perceive the importance and value of the work performed by data curators?

These questions and more are being actively researched by a special interest group of the Data Curation Network. With funding from the Alfred P Sloan foundation we have embarked on answering this question through a number lenses and aim to share the results broadly.

Repository Staff and Directors

We launched a survey in January 2021 that assessed the perceived level of curation performed by repositories, and the perceived value that curation has on the data sharing process. 


As part of our implementation of the Data Curation Network we sought researcher feedback in assessing their satisfaction with our repository curation services.

  • 2021 Survey
  • Publications and presentations
    • DCN All Hands Meeting (July 2021)

Reuse and other metrics

The number of downloads or citations for a dataset may indicate value in the data, but using these measures to determine the value of curation is much harder and we are following the progress of others (here, here, and here)! More work to be done!

  • Lafia, S., Thomer, A., Bleckley, D., Akmon, D., & Hemphill, L. (2021). Leveraging Machine Learning to Detect Data Curation Activities. ArXiv.Org.
  • Hemphill, L., Pienta, A., Lafia, S., Akmon, D., & Bleckley, D. (2021). How do properties of data, their curation, and their funding relate to reuse?
  • Akmon, Dharma; Lafia, Sara; Thomer, Andrea; Hemphill, Libby; Pienta, Amy; Yakel, Elizabeth; Bleckley, David; Tyler, Allison (2020). Measuring and Improving the Efficacy of Curation Activities in Data Archives. University of Michigan Deep Blue.
Measuring the Value of Data Curation: Preliminary Results from the Data Curation Network. Poster Presented at the Research Data Alliance 13th Plenary in Philadelphia, PA, April 2-4, 2019.