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Digital curation

Elizabeth Yakel (School of Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Article publication date: 6 November 2007




The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of development and recent focus on digital curation and ties it to larger cyberinfrastructure initiatives.


Provides a useful viewpoint on the development and recent focus on digital curation.


Digital curation is the active involvement of information professionals in the management, including the preservation, of digital data for future use. While there have been people doing different aspects of data curation and digital preservation for decades, recent events have brought a number of ideas, organizations, and individuals together to focus more intently on digital curation. Reports in the US by the National Science Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies and in the UK by Dr Liz Lyon of UKOLN have pointed out the aspects of digital curation which need to be in place to ensure that digital objects can be maintained, preserved, and remain available for future use. These reports along with increased research focus at conferences and the emergence of new educational programs have led to the emergence of digital curation and made digital curators a new entry into the information professions. Increasingly, digital curation is becoming an umbrella concept that includes digital preservation, data curation, electronic records management, and digital asset management.

Practical implications

This article discusses and defines digital curation and notes how this theme has permeated in recent reports, conferences, and educational offerings.


The article synthesizes current digital curation efforts and helps to define this new concept for information professionals.



Yakel, E. (2007), "Digital curation", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 335-340.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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