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Towards Narrowing the Curation Gap—Theoretical Considerations and Lessons Learned from Decades of Practice

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Digital Curation, ETH-Bibliothek, ETH Zurich, Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
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Terrestrial Systems Ecology, ETH Zurich, Universitätstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Constanze Curdt, Christian Willmes, Georg Bareth and Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5(6), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi5060091
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 4 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Data Management)
Research as a digital enterprise has created new, often poorly addressed challenges for the management and curation of research to ensure continuity, transparency, and accountability. There is a common misunderstanding that curation can be considered at a later point in the research cycle or delegated or that it is too burdensome or too expensive due to a lack of efficient tools. This creates a curation gap between research practice and curation needs. We argue that this gap can be narrowed if curators provide attractive support that befits research needs and if researchers consistently manage their work according to generic concepts consistently from the beginning. A rather uniquely long-term case study demonstrates how such concepts have helped to pragmatically implement a research practice intentionally using only minimalist tools for sustained, self-contained archiving since 1989. The paper sketches the concepts underlying three core research activities. (i) handling of research data, (ii) reference management as part of scholarly publishing, and (iii) advancing theories through modelling and simulation. These concepts represent a universally transferable best research practice, while technical details are obviously prone to continuous change. We hope it stimulates researchers to manage research similarly and that curators gain a better understanding of the curation challenges research practice actually faces. View Full-Text
Keywords: curation gap; research data management; digital data curation; data preservation; data lifecycle management; theory lifecycle management; archiving; best practice curation gap; research data management; digital data curation; data preservation; data lifecycle management; theory lifecycle management; archiving; best practice
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Sesartić, A.; Fischlin, A.; Töwe, M. Towards Narrowing the Curation Gap—Theoretical Considerations and Lessons Learned from Decades of Practice. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5, 91.

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