Data Curation Profiles


A Data Curation Profile is essentially the "story" of a data set or collection, describing its origin and life cycle within a research project. The Profile and its associated Toolkit grew out of an inquiry into the changing environment of scholarly communication, especially the possibility of researchers providing access to data much further upstream than previously imagined: If researchers are interested in sharing or required to provide access to data sets or collections, what does that mean for the data, for researchers, and for librarians?

The Data Curation Profiles were developed through a research project conducted by the Purdue University Libraries and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Based on the results of the project, we developed the Data Curation Profiles Toolkit for use by librarians and other information professionals at their institutions. The Data Curation Profiles Toolkit is meant to help launch discussions between librarians and faculty and aid in the planning of data services that directly address the needs of researchers.

With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Distributed Data Curation Center at the Purdue University Libraries is conducting a series of activities to support the continued development and advancement of the Data Curation Profiles Toolkit.

Training Workshops: A total of 12 full day workshops were presented at venues across the US in 2011. Additional workshops were also held in 2012. The scope of these workshops was to train participants in the application and use of the Data Curation Profile Toolkit.

Symposium: After the workshops were delivered, a symposium was held at Purdue University to discuss the issues raised by librarians in exploring data management curation roles. Librarians who completed a Data Curation Profile and who submitted their profile for inclusion into the collection of publicly available profiles were eligible to present their work at this symposium.

Directory: The Data Curation Profiles Directory was created to serve as a place to publish Profiles. The Directory a DOI for each published DCP, insures visibility for profiles through inclusion in indexing and discovery tools, and commits to their preservation.

Community: The management and curation of research data is a new field for librarians thus there are few models or examples to follow. Recognizing that everyone benefits from the knowledge and experiences of others, we encourage those who are using the Data Curation Profiles Toolkit at their institutions to share their experiences and results with others.

Evaluation and Further Development: The Data Curation Profiles Toolkit will evolve as more information professionals make use of it at their institutions. We are extremely interested in hearing your experiences in using the Data Curation Profiles Toolkit.


Research Project Overview - Investigators from Purdue and UIUC sought to address the question, "Which researchers are willing to share data, when, with whom, and under what conditions?" The goals of the project were:

Specific outcomes included determining if there were differences in the levels or types of data that might be shared throughout the data lifecycle across disciplines and determining whether librarians have a role in the facilitation of sharing in a number of ways.

Research Project Description - To identify the needs of researchers with regard to their data, project personnel conducted interviews, surveys and observations of the researchers. The interviews were used to gather information about the scientific workflow of each researcher and their range of research outputs (e.g., raw data through published forms), as well as to identify their needs for discovery, access, usage and re-use of data. Disciplines covered in the study included:

There were overlaps in three disciplines between Purdue and UIUC, and the interviewers on each site conducted interviews with three or more researchers within at least one discipline to generate discipline-specific case studies. The information gathered from the interviews and survey were then analyzed and Data Curation Profiles were developed for each researcher.

For more information about the development of the Data Curation Profiles, see: