Understanding the value of curation: A survey of researcher perspectives of data curation services from six US institutions

Wanda Marsolek, Sarah J Wright, Hoa Luong, Susan M Braxton, Jake Carlson, Sophia Lafferty-Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data curation encompasses a range of actions undertaken to ensure that research data are fit for purpose and available for discovery and reuse, and can help to improve the likelihood that data is more FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). The Data Curation Network (DCN) has taken a collaborative approach to data curation, sharing curation expertise across a network of partner institutions and data repositories, and enabling those member institutions to provide expert curation for a wide variety of data types and discipline-specific datasets. This study sought to assess the satisfaction of researchers who had received data curation services, and to learn more about what curation actions were most valued by researchers. By surveying researchers who had deposited data into one of six academic generalist data repositories between 2019–2021, this study set out to collect feedback on the value of curation from the researchers themselves. A total of 568 researchers were surveyed; 42% (238) responded. Respondents were positive in their evaluation of the importance and value of curation, indicating that the participants not only value curation services, but are largely satisfied with the services provided. An overwhelming majority 97% of researchers agreed that data curation adds value to the data sharing process, 96% agreed it was worth the effort, and 90% felt more confident sharing their data due to the curation process. We share these results to provide insights into researchers’ perceptions and experience of data curation, and to contribute evidence of the positive impact of curation on repository depositors. From the perspective of researchers we surveyed, curation is worth the effort, increases their comfort with data sharing, and makes data more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0293534
Pages (from-to)e0293534
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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