The University Libraries invited faculty and researchers to participate in a data curation pilot project from May 2013-December 2013. Given the recent memorandum by the White House to increase access to publicly funded research data, the University Libraries anticipate increased campus needs for data management and repository services.

The results of the pilot are available in the report: A Workflow Model for Curating Research Data in the University of Minnesota Libraries: Report from the 2013 Data Curation Pilot openly available in our digital repository, at

This project utilized our current suite of services and expertise to pilot a “data curation” service. Data curation includes archiving, preservation and access to research data, ultimately with reuse in mind. The pilot project archived five datasets from UMN faculty in our institutional repository, the University Digital Conservancy (UDC). The UDC is an open-access archive for research and scholarship produced by University of Minnesota affiliates. The repository provides long-term digital preservation and public access to institutional digital assets.

The resulting datasets that were included in the pilot are available in the UDC Data Pilot Project collection, and they are:


Benefits of Participating in the Data Curation Pilot

  • Your research data will be archived and accessible for future researchers and scholars to reuse and potentially increase your research impact.
  • By storing your data in a preservation-friendly environment, you will safeguard your time and investment in a trusted source, the UMN Libraries.
  • If your data are federally-funded, this pilot may fulfill grant funder expectations for data sharing.
  • By partnering with digital archivists and preservation experts, you get a custom workflow for archiving your data that goes beyond storage and backup techniques.


Criteria for Selection in the Data Curation Pilot

  • The data must be authored, produced and/or sponsored by a UMN faculty or researcher who is willing and able to grant the Deposit Agreement for the UMN to preserve and distribute the data.
  • The data should be complete and ready for public distribution, eg:
    • Restricted access will not be provided in the pilot. The data will be openly accessible to the public and therefore must not contain any private, confidential, or other protected information. See University Policy and examples of private data.
  • The data may contain multiple files. Individual file cannot exceed 1GB per file.
  • Includes adequate documentation describing the nature of the data at an appropriate level for reuse and discovery.
  • In addition to meeting the above data pilot criteria, the pilot datasets will be selected based on:
    • a wide range of disciplines represented to account for the range of possible data curation workflows and considerations;
    • the availability of research data files to curate within the project timeline; and
    • the willingness of the faculty owner to work with us in a “pilot” atmosphere and contribute at least two hours of their time over the course of the Fall 2013 semester to participate in pre- and post-curation interviews.


How to Participate

The call for proposals is closed and data sets have been selected. Thanks for your interest in this project. If you have other ideas of data curation services that should be offered on campus, but are unable to participate in this program, please reply. We appreciate your feedback!

Lisa Johnston (, Data Curation Project Manager

This project is affiliated with the 2013 cohort of the President's Excellence in Leadership Program (PEL)

Need help?

Contact Us with your questions and we will consult with you or point you to the right person, resource, or service on campus.