Poster Open Access
Data curation is an iterative process that adds value to scholarship by optimizing research datasets for current use, as well as future discovery and reuse. Moreover, it ensures that datasets developed and archived by researchers epitomize the FAIR guiding principles of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability (Wilkinson et al., 2016). In order to meet these aspirations, data curators require a unique complement of disciplinary knowledge, information management skills, and software expertise. While advances are being made in automating data curation processes, the heterogeneous and multidisciplinary nature of research data commonly requires human curators to define FAIR standards for datasets and collaborate with researchers to realize them. Given that individual curators within research groups, organizations, and institutions are unlikely to possess all of the required skills and expertise, there is a significant need for training opportunities that expand their capabilities, and for higher-level coordination that standardizes practices across organizations.
To address this need, McMaster University, in partnership with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries’ Portage Network and the Portage Network Curation Expert Group (CEG) (Portage Network, 2019), organized the first Canadian Research Data Curation Forum to promote and advance the practice of data curation in Canada. The event took place in Hamilton, Ontario from Oct. 16-18, 2019. The main goals of this event were to provide (1) a community-building stakeholder forum to better understand the current state and unmet needs of data curation practice in Canada, (2) professional development for data curators, and (3) a clear articulation of the next steps for the development of this profession in Canada.
This poster will provide a summary of the event and describe the primary outcomes, including lessons learned, current data curation gaps and challenges, proposed models for a digital curation network in Canada, and the planned next steps to enact the vision expressed by the Canadian data curation community.