Digital curation

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Digital curation is the selection[1], preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets[2][3].

Digital curation is generally referred to the process of establishing and developing long term repositories of digital assets for current and future reference[2] by researchers, scientists, historians, and scholars. Enterprises are starting to utilize digital curation to improve the quality of information and data within their operational and strategic processes.[4].

[edit] Aspects of digital curation

Digital curation entails:

  • Collecting verifiable digital assets
  • Providing digital asset search and retrieval
  • Certification of the trustworthiness and integrity of the collection content
  • Semantic and ontological continuity and comparability of the collection content

[edit] Challenges faced by digital curation

Significant[5] and major challenges faced by digital curation are:

  • Storage format evolution and obsolescence[6]
  • Rate of creation of new data and data sets
  • Broad access and searching flexibility and variety
  • Comparability of semantic and ontological definitions of data sets[6]

[edit] Response to digital curation challenges

The challenges faced by digital curation are resulting in:

  • specialised research institutions[7][8]
  • academic courses
  • dedicated symposia[9][10]
  • peer reviewed technical and industry journals[11]

to address the challenges.

[edit] Sheer curation

Sheer curation is an approach to digital curation where curation activities are quietly integrated into the normal work flow of those creating and managing data and other digital assets. The word sheer is used to emphasize the lightweight and virtually transparent nature of these curation activities. The term sheer curation was coined by Alistair Miles in the ImageStore project [12], and the UK Digital Curation Centre's SCARP project [13]. The approach depends on curators having close contact or 'immersion' in data creators' working practices. An example is the case study of a neuroimaging research group by Whyte et al., which explored ways of building its digital curation capacity around the apprenticeship style of learning of neuroimaging researchers, through which they share access to datasets and re-use experimental procedures [14].

Sheer curation depends on the hypothesis that good data and digital asset management at the point of creation and primary use is also good practice in preparation for sharing, publication and/or long-term preservation of these assets. Therefore, sheer curation attempts to identify and promote tools and good practices in local data and digital asset management in specific domains, where those tools and practices add immediate value to the creators and primary users of those assets. Curation can best be supported by identifying existing practices of sharing, stewardship and re-use that add value, and augmenting them in ways that both have short-term benefits, and in the longer term reduce risks to digital assets or provide new opportunities to sustain their long-term accessibility and re-use value.

The aim of sheer curation is to establish a solid foundation for other curation activities which may not directly benefit the creators and primary users of digital assets, especially those required to ensure long-term preservation. By providing this foundation, further curation activities may be carried out by specialists at appropriate institutional and organisation levels, whilst causing the minimum of interference to others.

A similar idea is curation at source used in the context of Laboratory Information Management Systems LIMS. This refers more specifically to automatic recording of metadata or information about data at the point of capture, and has been developed to apply semantic web techniques to integrate laboratory instrumentation and documentation systems [15] Sheer curation and curation-at-source can be contrasted with post hoc digital preservation, where a project is initiated to preserve a collection of digital assets that have already been created and are beyond the period of their primary use.

[edit] Channelisation

Channelisation is curation of digital assets on the web, often by brands and media companies, into continuous flows of content, turning the user experience from a lean-forward interactive medium, to a lean-back passive medium[16]. The curation of content can be done by an independent third party, that selects media from any number of on-demand outlets from across the globe and adds them to a playlist to offer a digital "channel" dedicated to certain subjects, themes, or interests so that the end user would see and/or hear a continuous stream of content.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Erin Scime (8 December 2009). "The Content Strategist as Digital Curator". A List Apart. 
  2. ^ a b "What is Digital Curation?". Digital Curation Centre. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  3. ^ Elizabeth Yakel (2007). "Digital curation". Emerald Group Publishing. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  4. ^ E. Curry, A. Freitas, and S. O’Riáin, “The Role of Community-Driven Data Curation for Enterprises,” in Linking Enterprise Data, D. Wood, Ed. Boston, MA: Springer US, 2010, pp. 25-47.
  5. ^ "Digital Curation & Trusted Repositories: Seeking Success - Introduction". JCDL 2006 Workshop: Digital Curation & Trusted Repositories: Seeking Success. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  6. ^ a b Paul Watry (November 2007). "Digital Preservation Theory and Application: Transcontinental Persistent Archives Testbed Activity". The International Journal of Digital Curation. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  7. ^ Digital Curation Centre
  8. ^ Digital Preservation Coalition
  9. ^ DigCCurr 2007 - an international symposium on Digital Curation, April 18-20, 2007
  10. ^ 1st African Digital Management and Curation Conference and Workshop - Date: 12-13 February 2008
  11. ^ International Journal of Digital Curation
  12. ^ The ImageStore Project - ImageWeb
  13. ^ Digital Curation Centre: DCC SCARP Project
  14. ^ Whyte, A., Job, D., Giles, S. and Lawrie, S. (2008) 'Meeting Curation Challenges in a Neuroimaging Group', The International Journal of Digital Curation Issue 1, Volume 3, 2008
  15. ^ Frey, J. 'Sharing and Collaboration' keynote presentation at UK e-Science All Hands Meeting, 8-11 September 2008, Edinburgh
  16. ^ Channelisation = Curation

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