If you are a student or a member of staff and have something of interest to share with the wider University Community, please let us know at comms@bath.ac.uk

» submit an item · an event

Star cluster
The Digital Curation Centre has been established to help scientists deal with the rapid growth in digital information collected as part of research in subjects ranging from surveys of the night sky to analysis of the human genome.
UKOLN
UKOLN - a centre of expertise in digital information management

Press Release - 05 November 2004

New UK Centre gives researchers help with digital curation

A new centre that will give researchers advice on archiving their digital research data so that it can be used for future projects will be launched at a ceremony in Edinburgh today.

The Digital Curation Centre has been established to help scientists deal with the rapid growth in digital information collected as part of research in subjects ranging from surveys of the night sky to analysis of the human genome.

The £1 million-a-year Centre will bring together experts in data generation and data archiving to provide a range of services and activities that will help UK researchers add-value to their data collections.

The Centre, the first of its kind in the world, has been established by a consortium of four organisations, including the University of Bath-based UKOLN - a centre of expertise in digital information management.

The Centre, led by the University of Edinburgh, will also help other organisations, such as data centres and libraries, seeking to preserve ‘born-digital’ resources that have helped to contribute to research and learning.

“There has been an explosion in the amount of digital data collected as part of research in recent years,” said Dr Liz Lyon, Director of UKOLN.

“Where data was once collected and stored in hard copy - modern research frequently produces large volumes of digital data. Managing and storing this data so that it can be used by other researchers, both now and in the future, is a huge challenge, and one that grows bigger every year.

“There is an important difference between preserving data and curating it: curation involves describing, annotating and adding value to digital information so that it can be easily stored, searched, retrieved and re-used in the future.

“The Digital Curation Centre will provide researchers in the UK with a range of advisory services and tools that will help them become effective curators, and so improve the use and re-use of digital data among scientists around the world.”

Other activities planned for the Centre include the production of an e-journal on digital curation, an annual international conference, professional development workshops and research and development activities in key areas.

“One of the Centre’s most important initiatives will be the creation of a Network of Associates from data generation and data preservation backgrounds that will help the UK become a forerunner in the curation of digital data,” continued Dr Lyon.

The Centre is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee and the e-Science Core Programme of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and is run by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils and UKOLN.