May 17, 2022

Journal Article: “How Important is Data Curation? Gaps and Opportunities for Academic Libraries”

The following article was recently published online by the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication.


How Important is Data Curation? Gaps and Opportunities for Academic Libraries


Lisa R. Johnston
University of Minnesota

Jacob Carlson
University of Michigan

Cynthia Hudson-Vitale
Washington University in St. Louis

Heidi Imker
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wendy Kozlowski
Cornell University

Robert Olendorf
Pennsylvania State University

Claire Stewart
University of Minnesota


Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication
6(1), p.eP2198
DOI: 10.7710/2162-3309.2198


Data curation may be an emerging service for academic libraries, but researchers actively “curate” their data in a number of ways—even if terminology may not always align. Building on past userneeds assessments performed via survey and focus groups, the authors sought direct input from researchers on the importance and utilization of specific data curation activities.

Between October 21, 2016, and November 18, 2016, the study team held focus groups with 91 participants at six different academic institutions to determine which data curation activities were most important to researchers, which activities were currently underway for their data, and how satisfied they were with the results. RESULTS Researchers are actively engaged in a variety of data curation activities, and while they considered most data curation activities to be highly important, a majority of the sample reported dissatisfaction with the current state of data curation at their institution.

Our findings demonstrate specific gaps and opportunities for academic libraries to focus their data curation services to more effectively meet researcher needs.

Research libraries stand to benefit their users by emphasizing, investing in, and/or heavily promoting the highly valued services that may not currently be in use by many researchers.

Direct to Full Text Article
25 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.