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Research Data Services: Data Curation

Why Data Curation?

Data curation is critically important for a research institution because it provides two vital services:

(1) data are not merely stored, but are preserved in order to overcome technical obsolescence inherent in any storage system;

(2) data are documented in such a way that they can be referenced in, and linked from, scientific publications and meet the requirements of funding agencies.

Members of SU research community regularly produce large amounts of data that need to be stored, analyzed, and preserved. These data sets and their derivative output (e.g., publications, visualizations, etc.) represent the intellectual capital of the University. They have inherent and enduring value and must be preserved and made accessible for reuse by future researchers.

Today’s interdisciplinary research challenges cannot be addressed without the ability to combine data from disparate disciplines. Researchers need to know what relevant data exist, as well as how to retrieve, combine, mine, and analyze data using the latest tools.

Granting agencies understand this fundamental need and are increasingly making it a condition of funding that researchers have a plan for preserving their data and for making it discoverable and available for reuse.

How Can SU Libraries Help You With Data Curation?

Research Data Services can help you with the following regarding your research data curation.

Organizing your data

  • Consulting on metadata standards
  • Recommending file name convention and solutions for file version control

Storing and sharing your data

  • Offering storage space and access point
  • Assigning a permenent data identifier

Preserving your data

  • Backing-up data
  • Recommending open standards for data files

Citing data

  • Guidance on how to cite data and the proper use of data

Please contact Research Data Services for assistance with any of the above.

Data Curation

Research Data Services can assist you in preparing your data for publishing as well as finding a suitable repository in which to place it. Given that different repositories have different rules regarding what can be stored and how, we strongly recommend that you consult with us as early in the research process as possible. Below are some link to help you get started:

  • PLOS.org List of Reccomended Repositories - The PLOS family of journals requires authors to publish their data as a condition of publishing their manuscript; this is their list of acceptable repositories.
  • Qualitative Data Repository.  QDR selects, ingests, curates, archives, manages, durably preserves, and provides access to digital data used in qualitative and multi-method social inquiry.  The repository develops and publicizes common standards and methodologically informed practices for these activities, as well as for the reusing and citing of qualitative data.
  • re3data.org /  Registry of Research Data Repositories (formerly Databib)
  • Digital Curation Centre
  • ICPSR - An international consortium of more than 700 academic institutions and research organizations, ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the social science research community.  Of particular note are their pages for depositing data and data management

Resources for Data Curation

SU Resources:

 

  • Qualitative Data Repository.  QDR selects, ingests, curates, archives, manages, durably preserves, and provides access to digital data used in qualitative and multi-method social inquiry.  The repository develops and publicizes common standards and methodologically informed practices for these activities, as well as for the reusing and citing of qualitative data.

Beyond SU: