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 ICPSR 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.

ICPSR hosts data in a repository with powerful search capabilities. Indexed by all the major search engines, ICPSR data are easily discoverable and widely accessible to the public.

Data at ICPSR are screened for confidentiality and privacy concerns. Stringent protections are in place for securing and distributing sensitive data.

By providing standardized and well-recognized data citations, ICPSR ensures that data producers receive credit for their archived data. ICPSR also collects bibliographic citations to publications based on archived data, demonstrating the impact of the original data.