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Identifying Best Practices and Skills for Workforce Development in Data Curation.

P. Bryan Heidorn and Helen Tibbo

(Submission #41)


The nature of science and scholarship is being transformed by the ability to collect and integrate vast quantities of information. Some sciences such as ecology and environmental science are inherently integrative, requiring the combination of information of many types from many sources in order to answer more complex questions than previously possible. This new information and the information management tools designed to deal with this volume of data will help us make informed decisions that will impact human health and prosperity. To enable this cross-scale, interdisciplinary integration for the coming generations of scholars, data must be managed to facilitate interoperability, preservation, and sharing. We define this discipline of “data curation” as the practice of collection, annotation, conditioning and preservation of data for both current and future use. Government and industry have recognized both the opportunities and challenges and have called for improved data curation. Current data curation challenges can be grouped into two classes: underdeveloped data curation practice and shortages of skilled data curators. In this panel we will explore methods to maximize our opportunities and the impact of data on scholarly work. This discussion will be lead by panelists informed by government studies, successful practice and curriculum development projects. The primary questions to be addressed are: what are the required skills for data curation, who should learn these skills, how do these individuals fit into the social fabric of science and who pays for this new work?


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