Data Management & Curation
ICPSR stores, curates, and provides access to scientific data so others can reuse the data and validate research findings. Curation, from the Latin "to care," is the process that ICPSR uses to add value to data, maximize access, and ensure long-term preservation.
Data curation is akin to work performed by an art or museum curator. Through the curation process, data are organized, described, cleaned, enhanced, and preserved for public use, much like the work done on paintings or rare books to make the works accessible to the public now and in the future. With the modern Web, it's increasingly easy to post and share data. Without curation, however, data can be difficult to find, use, and interpret. Through curation, ICPSR provides meaningful and enduring access to data.
Data at ICSPR are enhanced with meaningful information to make it complete, self-explanatory, and usable for future researchers. As a repository, ICPSR adheres to standards that demonstrate it is organizationally, procedurally, and technologically sound as a trustworthy data custodian.
Digital preservation is the proactive and ongoing management of digital content to lengthen the lifespan and mitigate against loss. ICPSR preserves its data resources for the long-term, guarding against deterioration, accidental loss, and digital obsolescence. ICPSR has a 50-year track record of reliably storing research data.
Data at ICPSR are screened for confidentiality and privacy concerns. Stringent protections are in place for securing and distributing sensitive data.
ICPSR offers suggestions about tools to use when managing and curating data, as well as tools and services ICPSR provides to others.