Cognitive and philosophical aspects of Curation
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Cognitive and philosophical aspects of Curation
The Cognitive infuences of curation on individual topic structuring
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What difference does quantity make On the epistemology of Big Dat in biology - S Leonelli


Hillel Rosensweig's insight:

One of the main tasks of database curators is to decontextualise the data that are included in their resources, so that they can travel outside of their original production context and become available for integration with other datasets (thus forming a Big Data collection).
This makes the job of curators even more difficult, as they are then left with the task of selecting which metadata to insert in their database, and which format to use in order to provide such information. Additionally, curators are often asked to provide a preliminary assessment of the quality of data, which can act as a guideline for researchers interested in large datasets.
Whenever data and metadata are added to a database, curators need to tag them with keywords that will make them retrievable to biologists interested in related phenomena. This is an extremely hard task, given that curators want to leave the interpretation of the potential evidential value of data as open as possible to database users.
Accordingly, biological data on model organisms are heterogeneous both in their content and in their format; are curated and re-purposed to address the needs of highly disparate and fragmented epistemic communities; and present curators with specific challenges to do with the wish to faithfully capture and represent complex, diverse and evolving organismal structures and behaviours.

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The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity | Cognitive and philosophical aspects of Curation |
'The latest findings from the real neuroscience of creativity suggest that the right brain/left brain distinction is not the right one when it comes to understanding how creativity is implemented in the brain.

Via Beth Dichter, massimo facchinetti
Gary Faust's curator insight, August 30, 2013 8:53 PM

In experience creativity seems to be volitional not physiological, now there is some science to counteract this socially accepted point of view. 

Regis Elo's comment, September 18, 2013 7:01 PM
Sorry again for the delay.thankx for your comments. I add that it seems coherent to agree with both of you Kathy and Louise , inclueing the possibility to care about the individual self-consciousness and empathy as a specific human condition to be eternally unsatisfied WITHOUT SPIRITUALITY?....IT'S BEYOND! i guess
Saberes Sin Fronteras OVS's comment, September 19, 2013 1:18 PM
Thanks for the comments.
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Added value of Curation - Rusbridge, C.

Hillel Rosensweig's insight:

... [C]uration embraces and goes beyond that of enhanced present-day re-use, and of archival responsibility, to embrace stewardship that adds value through the provision of context and linkage…in ways that ease re-use and promoting accountability and integration.

Rusbridge, C., et al. (2005). The Digital Curation Centre: A vision for digital curation.

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Choices And Curation Are Making Us Better Music Listeners — The Activate Outlook

Choices And Curation Are Making Us Better Music Listeners - The Activate Outlook - Medium

We spend over 4 hours a day consuming audio. Over three quarters of that time happens while doing other things: we liste…

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Towards a Better Definition of Curation in Journalism | Adam Schweigert

Let's not confuse curation with aggregation: an argument for why curation (in the traditional sense) is needed in journalism. (RT @Digidave: A great post via @aschweig on curation vs. aggregation.
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How Long Before You Will Instead of Google It? A Year, Two, a Decade?

How Long Before You Will Instead of Google It? A Year, Two, a Decade? | Cognitive and philosophical aspects of Curation |
Services like depend on a community of millions of hardworking experts who wonder what to do with the wealth of knowledge and wisdom they have accumulated in life and are happy to share it.
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Information Ethics: An Environmental Approach to the Digital Divide \ Luciano Floridi

Philosophy in the Contemporary World
Volume 9 Number 1 Spring-Summer 2001



..The vertical gap signals the end of modernity. Post-modern critiques have unveiled the strategy of modernity as the techno-scientific colonization and domination of nature. Quoting Descartes, the goal of
modernity was “[. . . to] use this knowledge [i.e.
science and technology, my addition] – as the artisans
use theirs – for all the purposes for which it is
appropriate, and thus [to] make ourselves, as it were,
the lords and masters of nature .” The project of
modernity was the full control and mastery over reality
understood as the physical environment. It began with
the semanticization of nature as its textualization,
recall Galileo’s view of physical reality as the “book of
nature.” It then developed through a society based on
mass-produced goods, and ended with the
semanticization of a textual culture as its
deconstruction. The information age has been built on
the modern project, but its essence is no longer just
the shaping of the physical world. Rather, it is the
creation and construction of alternative, non-natural
environments that replace or underpin it. The
mechanical mind handled nature and tried to control
and modify it. The informational mind builds its own
world and hence, in dealing with it, it really deals with
its own artefacts. As a metaphorical space, the
infosphere has grown through centuries, following the
history of humanity, but as a real space “where”
people meet, interact and spend an increasing amount
of time...

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Skills for Significant Properties: Debating Pragmatics and Philosophy in an Area of Digital Curation \Grace, S., Anderson, S., & Lee, C.A.


PROCEEDINGS of DigCCurr 2009

Epistemology -


Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Social epistemology, in particular, can help to describe the social dimensions of information. The content of digital objects conveys knowledge as intended by the creator.

Librarians and archivists have not always had subject skills to

verify or warrant the reliability of information conveyed in materials they manage, as opposed to their authenticity. In the digital domain, the respective contexts of the creator and that of the user can be far apart unbound by ties of culture, intellectual

parity, time or space.


Conceptualization -


Digital humanities (or humanities computing) as a discipline provides a methodological focus for studying the outputs of human creativity. It also has an understanding that increasingly computers are used as ‘venues of representation’ rather than just as computational machines. As people become more adept at using technology to create digital forms of representing information and meaning, curators require a similar familiarity with the possibilities of human interaction with such forms. Content modeling, visualization and other forms of conceptualization inform the description and understanding of digital content, and can offer entirely new approaches to the reuse of data.

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International Journal Digital Library: Connecting digital libraries to eScience: the future of scientific scholarship \ Michael Wright · Tamara Sumner · Reagan Moore · Traugott Koch

Historically, scholarly communication has involved the formal sharing of knowledge and results through publication of manuscripts and the associated review processes around publication. This is a visible output of the scholarly process. A hidden collaboration process of scholarly communication within project teams involves developing and investigating research questions, developing experiments, data measurement, collection building and joint analyses. Communication outside of project teams involves informal discussions with colleagues, and presentations and discussions at workshops and meetings. All are part of the scholarly communication lifecycle bounded by the initial investigation question and formal publication of results...

Having the ability to share data through interoperability technologies will not be enough to allow for reuse as there is still the need to have an understanding of what the data mean. The development of common data models is a growing area that is important to eScience. The ability to parse the data format, identify the structures present in the data, assign semantic labels and understand relationships such as the mapping of structures to coordinate systems is essential. These are becoming key to not only allowfor interoperability, but for the actual integration of data through understanding how to map between different sets of semantic labels using approaches such as ontologies (Candela et al., this issue) and concept maps (Gahegan et al., this issue)...

As technologies allow for sharing of data and information to a broader audience the need to understand where data originated and what manipulation processes it has undergone become important considerations that determine whether further scientific investigation can be pursued. Understanding the lineage of the data, or its provenance, becomes critical to providing a level of assurance of the quality of the data. Zimmerman, this issue, discusses this aspect of the social implications of trust of data.With provenance data available, we still need the ability to identify authoritative sources...

A core tenet of the eScience revolution is the idea that data are available, and easily accessible by all. This may not always be achievable, particularly where sharing of data may be considered to allow others to claim a result first, a social implication of trust that is described in the articles by Borgman et al. and Zimmerman. Sharing may also not be achievable where government or institutional controls are enacted to protect what is viewed as the basis of economic gain, a point noted in the commentary by Baru in relation to datasets managed by national governmental organizations...

Access rights management and the management of intellectual property is already a consideration in the broader library community, not just the digital library community, and an area where closer connections to the eScience community would be beneficial. These aspects of trust are also part of data intensive science areas such as the atmospheric sciences where a large part of the remotely sensed data comes from a series of trusted sources including daily observations from airports and weather stations, and satellite systems and ground-based radars that are managed by government agencies. Data from other sources such as ice-cores, or tree-ring data, are managed through specific national data centers, research centers, or recognized research groups, providing a level of trust and a recognized authoritative source. The provenance of the data is implicit in the knowledge of the social network of scientists and organizations in the discipline, and not always explicitly embedded with the data. As the data becomes more accessible to researchers beyond the initial cadre of the trusted network, the explicit description of provenance of data will become more important. The article from Hunter and Cheung, in discussing the issue of provenance, talks about how we can use such information in exploring data and constructing new linkages that can be shared. In the article fromWarner et al., the development of new scholarly objects (the journal overlay as an example) will benefit from the ability to include provenance to provide the user information about the value chain...

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artintelligence » Criticising Curation: On the Absence of Theme

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epistemology | Pierre Levy's Blog

epistemology | Pierre Levy's Blog | Cognitive and philosophical aspects of Curation |
Posts about epistemology written by Pierre Lévy
Hillel Rosensweig's insight:


"In the algorithmic medium, communication becomes a collaboration between peers to create, categorize, criticize, organize, read, promote and analyse data by the way of algorithmic tools. It is a stigmergic communication because, even if people dialogue and talk to each other, the main channel of communication is the common memory itself, a memory that everybody transforms and exploits. The above slide lists some examples of this new communication practices. Data curation skills are at the core of the new algorithmic literacy."

"Collaborative learning. This is the main goal of collective intelligence and data curation skills in general. People add explicit knowledge to the common memory. They express what they have learnt in particular contexts (tacit knowledge) into clear and decontextualized propositions.."

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The Medium Shaping the Message


Hillel Rosensweig's insight:

“In current design practice, engineers have few opportunities to interact directly with users. For the most part, The technology itself is the only medium for communication. As it moves from one group of people to another, it carries its own messages and meanings along with it - its prescriptions.”

Nardi & O'day, Information Ecologies

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IDEALS @ Illinois: Introduction: Institutional Repositories: Current State and Future

IDEALS @ Illinois: Introduction: Institutional Repositories: Current State and Future | Cognitive and philosophical aspects of Curation |
Hillel Rosensweig's insight:

..Data curation is the active and ongoing management of data through its lifecycle of interest and usefulness to scholarship, science, and education, which includes appraisal and selection, representation and organization of these data for access and use over time.

- Shreeves, S., and M. Cragin. (2008). Introduction: Institutional repositories: Current state and future.

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Re-writing News Stories Is Not Content Curation

Re-writing News Stories Is Not Content Curation | Cognitive and philosophical aspects of Curation |

Robin Good: Good article by Rex Hammock on highlighting the confusion arising from using the term curation when it is not really appropriate. 


He writes: "Somewhere along the way, the inherently-confusing metaphor of curation being applied to content on the web went from something like, finding relevant content and pointing readers to it to something like, find content on other sites and simply re-write what they say and place it on our site and that’s okay, as long as somewhere you credit the source.”


He has several more interesting points. here a few key excerpts from it: "While I believe “curation media” can be a helpful service to readers, the act of writing a story that rehashes another story — without adding some insight or background — is a disservice to all involved.




"...I’m not suggesting that the act of sharing articles you run across is anything but good. I’m not even suggesting that websites like Huffington Post or Business Insider are nothing more than re-writing services. (I’m not “suggesting” it, as it’s well known.)


This is the bottom line: To be of any value (or to prevent you from appearing foolish), your curation needs to be more than merely re-writing something that has already been re-written one or two times.


If you feel the need to do that, just link."



Rightful. 7/10


Full article: ;

****** Like Robin I give this 7 out of 10. Ther are some curators such as Robin I rarely add much content to because they are expressing my thoughts in some cases better than me. Part of good curating is to select and share, or just select. I just posted a great Infographic by MaxOz (how the world spends its time online) because it fit something I believe or am interested in. In Such a case a rare straight scoop is fine.


Mostly I am way to talkative and full of beans to not weigh in (lol). As far as the "rewriting" goes I agree with Robin, not adding anything and calling it yours doesn't make it so. If someone were to paraphrase my writing, call it their curation and then give credit they insult me. Like shooting me and then apologizing - the one doesn't compensate for the other :).



PS. See my Scoop of Robin's DisplayNote review on Startup Revolution for Part II of this conversation about curation.


Via Robin Good, Martin (Marty) Smith
Level343's comment, June 18, 2012 11:32 AM
Thank you Liz ;) enjoy your week!
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Content Curation as Thought Leadership | Leadership in Distance Education

Content Curation as Thought Leadership | Leadership in Distance Education | Cognitive and philosophical aspects of Curation |
Collecting and re-using content from third parties is emerging as a critical marketing strategy to...
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2008 Annual Conference of CIDOC


MATERIAL, SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL CONSIDERATIONS OF AN OBJECT is not possible to define with any precision [what ... ethnographic photograph is].
As with any example of material culture, the meaning of the photograph
is highly contextual, slippery, debatable and myriad. However, looking at this meaning in an institution like the British Museum, it is clear that the photograph is an object that is at once reflective of and constitutive of peoples narratives, histories and identities, possessing a significance that can be very personal and emotional, but is also implicitly political – this is also, of course, true of the digital object...


It is also necessary to consider, in relation to digitally curating .. [different photograph[s] of similar ethnographic objects], that because it is two dimensional and visual in nature the photograph is conducive to reproduction, and specifically digital reproduction. The relative ease of digitally reproducing a photographic image, coupled with the visual similarity of these two objects, makes it easy to overlook the fact that there are differences between the photographic object and the digitally curated object,
these differences being material, spatial and, perhaps above all, temporal. All material objects possess inalienability, one aspect of this being the unique material makeup of any individual object. The material structure of any given object provides singular  forensic information and evidence about itself and the circumstances surrounding its
existence. In the case of the photograph this information bearing material structure consists of the frozen image comprised of a top layer of substance that diffracts or diffuses light, suspended in a binding medium, which is bound to a base layer or substrate, and which is different and unique in each photograph. Additionally, in the case of the photograph, there may be much information found in the form of inscriptions and marks, often located on opposite side of the image, on image mounts, or even on the face of the image. These take the form of all kinds of markings and signs, some language based, others mathematical or gestural.

While some of this forensic evidence is transferable to digitisation, either through visual reproduction, description in inscription fields of an object record, etc., the actual material of the photographic object delivers something that the digital image cannot. The presence of the originary photograph allows for physical inspection, scientific testing/sampling, an encounter with the unaltered momentary aesthetic of the originary object and the opportunity to experience the authentic ‘aura’ of the originary object – as contestable and debatable as this concept may be. The material nature of the digital object, often referred to as ‘virtual’, is harder to talk about, as it seems harder to locate. At this juncture, however, it is necessary to trouble the
misleading nature of the word ‘virtual’ in this context, as it is important to observe how the digital object is or will be encountered, which will be in a real way, and not virtually. Users will be sitting in real chairs, in real spaces, using real devices to view or experience the actual transference of coded ones and zeros through various mediums and technologies to encounter the digitised object. All of this has meaning and is contextualising, as none of this, the chair, the space, the device, the digital coding, is without meaning, although it is naturalised and overlooked in most instances. In keeping with Marshall McLuhan’s assertion that “the medium is the message” or Barbara Stafford’s assertion that “form …[ is] figuring it out”, it is imperative, as Friedrich Kittler insisted, to consider“…the material and technical conditions that permit discourse storage in the first place.” – here the photograph is the ‘discourse’ of Kittler’s contention.

Here I will not follow up with an analysis of the material and technical conditions of digital technologies beyond considering what it means that the experience of these manifestations and technology can be dispersed over time and space. That the digital image object can be many places at the same time – the actual object, not just a copy of such – makes clear that the very materiality of the digital object is comprised of the spatial and the temporal and not just the mechanically physical; or, as Lev Manovich might have it, the digital object presents : “…a new functioning of space and time, info-subjectivity, new dynamics of cultural production and consumption…” The fact that the digital object is so slippery and broadly present allows for possibilities that the originary photographic object cannot. The digital object is easier to manipulate, as an image itself, but also the context and location of the digital object are easier to manipulate, allowing for relationships and juxtapositions that were previously not possible. Such possibilities, as theorised by Kittler, in allowing for the technical manipulation of the material world, could actually allow for the altering of the course of history.

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What is a digital object? \ Yuk Hui (abstract)

We are at the moment witnessing the emergence of digital objects, which initiates both a new philosophical investigation departs from its metaphysical tradition, and a paradigm shift of engineering understanding and practice. Digital objects, in this context, refer to the intensive dataification of physical entities (e.g. a sheep in the farm) and the objectification of data according to computational ontologies (e.g. the semantic web movement). The double movement from object (physical +cultural) to data and data to object (digital) constitutes a new milieu, which grounds the activity of our everyday life. This paper proposes an introduction to digital objects by highlighting several departures one has to take from philosophical tradition, also contribute to the evolving philosophy of technology. 1) a technical object never consisted a philosophical discourse in the tradition until Gilbert Simondon’s On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, philosophy since Aristotle down to Husserl, considers all technical objects as natural objects, i.e. a iphone is nothing different from an apple on the table, by privileging the form/matter understanding of objects. 2) such a bias nevertheless constitutes today what we call ontologies, originates from Aristotle’s concept of substanceaccidentals. The individualization and industrialization of digital objects always struggle in form imposition, which we can see from the GML to HTML, XML and finally ontologies (especially in the grammar of RDF). Yet such an understanding of object to Bertrand Russell is an “unconscious philosophical error”. Here it also exhibits the peculiarity of technics itself, which is always open to chances and accidents. The obsolete yet most popular term at the moment, ontologies, depart from its substance-accidentals origin from the beginning, and become relational calculus after Russell’s critique, and concretized in Edgar Codd’s relational database. To understand ontologies in a computational sense, or Ontology in a Heideggerian sense must find a new direction in a theory of relations; 3) relational nature of objects in the form of ontologies is the source of networks, or more precisely networks of data. This also departs from the vision of Ted Nelson’s hypertext to what Tim Berners-Lee a decade after his creation of the WWW in CERN called a “global mind”. The objects constitutes not only a world we are always already in, but also the thinking process which conditions the I and the We. Through these three aspects (though limited): object, network, mind, this paper proposes to open up a (new) philosophical  investigation.

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Focus On Co-Curation: A Museum Gives Power to Children \ Emma Bryant


Curator: The Museaum Journal 

Volume 54 Number 4 October 2011


"Shhh . . . It’s a Secret!" was a family-friendly exhibition with a difference. It was curated over the period of a year by 12 children aged 9-11 and staged in the main exhibition galleries of the Wallace Collection. It was the very first time a national museum had run such a sustained project in which school children selected works of art from the internationally renowned main collection, created a theme, and were involved in every aspect of the exhibition.


..The project was a journey of discovery. The only definite aspect was the exhibition opening date. The children would, the museum hoped, take responsibility for all aspects of the exhibition:

curating, interpretation, design and finance, while being guided and supported by the museum. The aim was for the children to redisplay the collection, making the artworks more intriguing to a family audience, and to tell the story of the objects using their own voices. The challenge was to strike a balance between maintaining the atmosphere of the collection, retaining its integrity, and presenting a high quality exhibition with interpretation suitable for everyone.


...The Learning team was not given any restrictions as to what could or should go into the exhibition.


...The Young Curators decided to start the exhibition with a Wallace Collection secret, a snuff box with a button concealing miniatures of the French philosopher and playwright Voltaire and his mistress, not discovered by the Conservation Department until the 1970s. The exhibition uncovered secret stories, unraveled symbols, and discovered compartments behind some of the most enigmatic pieces in the collection. There were objects from across the museum: paintings, furniture, sculpture, armor and porcelain. Each piece had a text panel and activity which revealed its secret.

The three galleries explored different subthemes. The sense of mystery was enhanced in the exhibition design: the wall colors and lighting went from dark to light, as the exhibition progressed, symbolizing the act of discovery.


...The three galleries explored different subthemes. The sense of mystery was enhanced in the exhibition design: the wall colors and lighting went from dark to light, as the exhibition progressed, symbolizing the act of discovery.


"I suspect that almost no-one initially thought that the show would be so good, the children so pro-active, and the whole so wellreceived . . . the real stars of the exhibition were the kids themselves, our ‘‘guest curators.’’ It was enormously satisfying to work with them, and to realize their ideas. It was particularly gratifying to see the initially quiet ones come out of their shells, as they became increasingly engaged and passionate about the project." (David Edge, Armorer and Head of Conservation)


"The hardest parts of creating our exhibition were when we had to complete all the homeworks in a short amount of time and to bring in our books every week. Having (extra) meetings with Mrs. Gardner-Sharp [Learning Mentor and project coordinator for the school] when we wanted to play." (Dylan, Young Curator)


"In our early meetings we were let loose around the Wallace to see if we could come up with theme ideas and objects to put in. There was some quarreling about the differences between what the girls and boys wanted. If you looked in my book on the day we were discussing themes you would see (not very clear notes!) "(Lola, Young Curator)


"First I wanted to be in the finance team with Joe, but because I had good ideas and would be good at it I joined the interpretation team. I think it was a good choice because I did come up with some good ideas like having a tree to go with the ‘‘Souvenir’’ painting and having a fact file. I liked writing it, I put the facts in a fun way. I was amazed, I was proud to see my ideas being used." (Dylan, Young Curator)


"I got put in the design team and was quite pleased about it because it was the job that I wanted. Our role was to do most of how it would look. We all also got extra jobs; mine was drawing a portrait of Madame de Serilly, which I was really proud of . . . . Our role was very important because we had to decide on the layout, color, lighting, and much more." (Jonathan, Young Curator)


"I was put into the design team I had volunteered for . . . as I knew that I like art and I have lots of creative ideas. My team mates were Isabel and Jonathan. I think we worked well although Isabel had different ideas to Jonathan and myself, her ideas were strong and we used some of them." (Billy, Young Curator)


"I would say that from the curatorial side it was very easy [to give up power] because Learning had such a good grasp of the need to protect the objects in the exhibition and the children were so sensible and accommodating. Because in the end we did not give up the final word and because the children were so mature but so imaginative and committed it wasn’t tricky to give up power to an outside group." (Stephen Duffy, Curator of Nineteenth Century Paintings and Exhibitions Officer)


"I learnt about art, the history behind the objects, how to research, and that there is always a story behind any object. I have learnt how to speak confidently to the public and people. I have also experienced how hard the job is for becoming a curator. Although it was hard curating an exhibition by children I think our hard work has paid off!!" (Chelsea, Young Curator)


...The Learning Department is still working with the Young Curators, who now give regular family tours to the public. They want to start a blog in order to act as ambassadors for the collection and they are working on a new display for the Porphyry Court.


...Many lessons were learned, the most important one not to assume what children like and want from museums. The Wallace Collection discovered that the trust placed in the Young Curators amply paid off. The exhibition was far more imaginative and subtle than one the Learning Department would have curated without their input. It was vital that the staff, right across the museum, freely gave their time and expertise to help the Young Curators realize their dream. In taking the risk of giving up

power to such a young and inexperienced group, an exhibition was created that exceeded the museum staff’s expectations.

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Data Curation and Libraries: Short-Term Developments, Long-Term Prospects \ Anna Gold

... one of the most interesting developments in digital data curation is the emphasis placed by all parties on developing a community of practice. While centers and funding projects play key roles, there is also widespread support for “bottom-up” alliances that support data curation. An example is the DuraSpace Data Curation Solution Community, which its organizers describe as “based on the theory that higher levels of order will emerge from complex systems under the right conditions,” and adding that:

"Data curation should support new forms of research and learning across disciplines ranging from the sciences to the humanities. Requirements must be gathered from both professional and citizen researchers and learners who may also participate with data curation infrastructure development."

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