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A: Urbana, Illinois, United States

Data Curation Becomes a Profession


In 2006 the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS), formerly the Library Research Center (LRC), of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, began funding the Data Curation Education Program (DCEP).

"Data curation is the active and on-going management of data through its lifecycle of interest and usefulness to scholarly and educational activities across the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Data curation activities enable data discovery and retrieval, maintain data quality, add value, and provide for re-use over time. This new field includes representation, archiving, authentication, management, preservation, retrieval, and use. Our program offers a focus on data collection and management, knowledge representation, digital preservation and archiving, data standards, and policy, providing the theory and skills necessary to work directly with academic and industry researchers who need data curation expertise. To this end, DCEP has established a number of educational collaborations with premier science, social science, and humanities data centers across the country to prepare a new generation of library and information science professionals to curate materials from databases and other formats. We anticipate that our graduates will be employed across a range of information-oriented institutions, including museums, data centers, libraries, institutional repositories, archives, and private industry."

The program began with a focus on "data curation curriculum and best practices for the LIS and scientific communities. IMLS provided additional funding in 2008 to extend the curriculum to include humanities data" (Data Curation Education Program website, accessed 01-28-2009).

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