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Digital Curation Profile Template

Page history last edited by Monica 9 years, 12 months ago

Digital Curation Profile

Fondren Library, Rice University




This profile is designed for use with the collections managed in Rice University’s Institutional Repository (IR), a digital archive of scholarly content. The purpose of having a customized digital curation profile1  is to support the goals of: preserving digital resources, long term access to digital content and interoperability of digital data.


A detail needs assessment is typically conducted at the beginning of a digital project, however user needs should be periodically reviewed throughout the life cycle of a digital collection. This re-assessment can be used to confirm existing characteristics of the data, identify changing or emerging needs of users of the collection and identify any “at-risk” data suitable for possible migration treatment.

This digital curation profile is intended as a narrative description of the collection to capture the ‘story of the data’2  and assess user needs. It is constructed as a series of open ended questions addressed to the creator of the digital resources. A second phase of review will take place outlining technical specifications of the data. This information may be gathered directly from the repository and may be updated by the creator of the digital resources as necessary. From the information gathered here, a detail analysis of file formats and preservation metadata will be conducted to determine if any further curation actions are warranted.


Interview Questions:


Purpose of these questions are meant to determine the context of the data

  • What is the story of the data?

  • What is the purpose of the data?

  • What is the typical workflow of the data?


Purpose of questions seek to determine needed level of support for data

  • How does the department determine the scope of digitization and metadata for each project?
  • Does the organization of the physical objects correspond to the organization of the digital objects?
  • Are there or were there any unexpected technical issues while working with your data?
  • Have you experienced user requests for file formats not currently in the IR?
  • Are there currently any features or unsupported tools that you would like to see in the IR?
  • How could the IR better support publication goals and citation needs?


Purpose of questions seek to determine the perceived and future provenance and preservation needs of data

  • What are the expected lifespans of the digital objects?

  • How could the data be used, reused, and re-purposed?

  • What are your growth expectations?

  • Are there specific partner organizations that use or harvest the data?


Purpose of questions are to identify intellectual property characteristics

  • Will the ownership of the data be transferred or shared in the future?

  • Are there any sensitive information or confidentiality concerns regarding the digital objects?


Closing Questions:

  • If you could have a magic tool that could do anything, what would it be?

  • Is there anything else I should know about the digital data?




1 We wish to recognize Amy Caton, a graduate student in the Library of Information Sciences program at the University of North Texas, for her excellent work and contribution on developing this digital curation interview template during her practicum at Fondren Library.


2 Questions are heavily adopted from Michael Witt and Jake Carlson, “Conducting a Data Interview” presented at the 3rd International Digital Curation Conference, Washington D.C.: Purdue University, Libraries Research Publications, 2007. http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/lib_research/81

Comments (1)

Monica said

at 11:44 am on Nov 1, 2013

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