Looking out for the little guy: Small data curation



Editor's Summary

While big data and its management are in the spotlight, a vast number of important research projects generate relatively small amounts of data that are nonetheless valuable yet rarely preserved. Such studies are often focused precursors to follow-up work and generate less noisy data than grand scale projects. Yet smaller quantity does not equate to simpler management. Data from smaller studies may be captured in a variety of file formats with no standard approach to documentation, metadata or preparation for archiving or reuse, making its curation even more challenging than for big data. As the information managers most likely to encounter small datasets, academic librarians should cooperate to develop workable strategies to document, organize, preserve and disseminate local small datasets so that valuable scholarly information can be discovered and shared.