Explaining Data Curation

Data curation is a rich, complicated subject with some fascinating, hairy problems and DataBindery addresses those problems in powerful ways. As of today, the DataBindery website has some new sections outlining What does it mean to Curate Data? and An Overview of DataBindery’s Features.  Hopefully these will give more people a foothold for sharing the enthusiasm for empowering the world’s data curators.

My pitch doesn’t fit on elevators. Through my work implementing Fedora Repositories at institutions around the world and through my involvement as one of the creators of the Hydra Project, I’ve grown accustomed to working with people who are intimately familiar with the ins and outs of data curation.  Though the devil has always been in the details, I’ve been able to take it as a given that my colleagues already know a lot about topics like provenance, access controls, linked data, authority control, and faceted full-text search. When I set out to create DataBindery, explicitly seeking to put the power of data curation into the hands of people outside the concentrated world of Libraries, Archives and Museums, I quickly found myself torn between explaining the nuances of data curation and giving a clear sense of what DataBindery does.

Over time I’ve gotten better at concisely explaining DataBindery, but I still get bogged down in the details because I care about those details.  Somehow it’s taken me this long to realize that I can use the website to address all of those details, freeing myself to be a bit looser when I tell people about DataBindery on the fly.