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Data Curation Solution Community Case Studies

This space features an annotated list of data curation case studies, which can be examined to define requirements for data curation infrastructure.

  • Curating Brain Images in a Psychiatric Research Group: Infrastructure and Preservation Issues ( The Neuroimaging Group in the University of Edinburgh's Division of Psychiatry assessed curation of neuroimaging research data for sharing, re-use, and preservation.  The study featured "two aims; firstly to discover more about disciplinary approaches and attitudes to digital curation through 'immersion' in selected cases, in this case drawing on ethnographic approaches.  Secondly SCARP aims to apply known good practice, and where possible to identify new lessons from practice in the selected discipline areas; in this case using action research to assess risks to the long term reusability of datasets, and identify challenges and opportunities for change." In particular, the PDF documents noted within the "DCC SCARP Documents" at the bottom of the webpage describe the results of this study.
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (  ICPSR is the world's largest archive of social science data, and has been collecting, curating, and delivering content for nearly fifty years.  Our historical approach has been to normalize file formats into plain ASCII (for survey data) and plain ASCII or TIFF images (for data documention), and to store the content in the filesystem and the metadata in a relational database.  More recently we have been normalizing our metadata into the DDI XML standard (  We are just getting started with Fedora and are tackling an initial project of moving our oldest content into Fedora 3.x.  Due to the lack of good administrative metadata from those early days, this makes for a project that is both very easy (e.g., the content model is simple) and very challenging.  I've been posting some initial thoughts on an approach in my ICPSR blog (