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Roles and Responsibilities for Curation

Roles and Responsibilities for Curation

Lead instructors: Carolyn Hank and Nancy McGovern

High points of the lecture

  • Digital curation takes place across a variety of professional, disciplinary, institutional, organizational, and cultural contexts. 
  • Doing digital curation necessitates a range of functions and skills.
  • This session provides an overview of recommended roles, responsibilities, and requirements for staff charged with doing digital curation.

By the end of this unit you should know or be able to:

  1. Discuss current trends in staffing for digital curation, including digital repositories.
  2. Identify high-level digital curation functions and skills for “doing” digital curation.
  3. Identify sample job descriptions.
  4. Ultimately, draft a job description(s) for digital curation staff at your own institution, whether for a new or existing position(s).

Recommended Readings

JISC &  Brunton Consultancy (2009, March). Job descriptions and job evaluation (pp. 18-35).
In Recruitment toolkit for JISC Digital Repository Projects (Version 1.1).

Lee, C.A. (2009, June 17). Matrix of digital curation knowledge and competencies (overview), version 13.

Robinson, M. (2009, August 25). Institutional repositories: Staff and skills sets (2nd revision).

Walters, T., & Skinner, K. (2011, March). New roles for new times: Digital curation for preservation. Washington DC: Association of Research Libraries.

Recommended Job Description Resources

SHERPA (UK): SHERPA maintains listings of jobs in areas related to digital curation, including digital repositories, scholarly communication and open access. For previously advertised posts, see:; for “current posts, see

Other Select Staffing Related Readings

Bermès, E., & Fauduet, L. (2011). The human face of digital preservation: Organizational and staff challenges, and initiatives at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. International Journal of Digital Curation, 6(1), 226-237.

Cragin, M.H., Palmer, C.L.; Varvel, V.E., Collie, A., & Dolan, M. (2009, December 4). Analyzing data curation job descriptions. Poster presented at the Fifth International Digital Curation Conference.

Markey, K., Rieh, S.Y., St. Jean, B., Kim, J., & and Yakel, E. (2007). “Chapter Two: The Institutions and the People Involved with IRs.” In Census of institutional repositories in the United States: MIRACLE project research findings. Washington DC: CLIR.

Swan, A., & Brown, S. (2008, July).  The skills, role and career structure of data scientists and curators: An assessment of current practice and future needs.

Other Select Job Posting Sources American Libraries Association (ALA) Digital Preservation Mailing List.

Digital Curation Exchange: Jobs.

Digital Preservation Listserv.

JISC-Repositories Listserv.

SPARC Institutional Repositories Discussion List Archive.

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