Friday, 19 March 2010

Sheer curation as "curation by addition"

We are finally getting stuck into selecting metadata for ADMIRAL data capture for preservation, via Databank ( This blog post by Ben O'Steen is most helpful:
"... the way I believe is best for this type of data is to capture and to curate by addition. Rather than try to get systems to learn the individual ways that researchers will store their stuff, we need to capture whatever they give us and, initially, present that to end-users. In other words, not to sweat it that the data we've put out there has a very narrow userbase, as the act of curation and preservation takes time."
I think this very nicely articulates the tone for the ADMIRAL project as we set out to curate our research partners' data.
As I write this, we've just had a follow-up meeting with one of our research group partners, CH. It is very interesting to note that what we're aiming to offer initially duplicates a facility the research group have already provisioned for themselves (shared filestore), but with just enough additional capability to be useful (automatic daily backup), so in this sense we really are adding small capabilities to researchers' existing pratices. Capturing elements from this, and moving them to Databank should prove to be another small addition.
Other related links include:

It will be interesting to see how well we can deploy the "curation by addition".

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