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Data Curation Education Program (DCEP)


The Data Curation Education Program (DCEP) is a data curation specialization within the ALA-accredited Master of Science at the University of Illinois's Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Data curation is the active and on-going management of data through its lifecycle of interest and usefulness to scholarly and educational activities across the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Data curation activities enable data discovery and retrieval, maintain data quality, add value, and provide for re-use over time. This new field includes representation, archiving, authentication, management, preservation, retrieval, and use. Our program offers a focus on data collection and management, knowledge representation, digital preservation and archiving, data standards, and policy, providing the theory and skills necessary to work directly with academic and industry researchers who need data curation expertise. To this end, DCEP has established a number of educational collaborations with premier science, social science, and humanities data centers across the country to prepare a new generation of library and information science professionals to curate materials from databases and other formats. We anticipate that our graduates will be employed across a range of information-oriented institutions, including museums, data centers, libraries, institutional repositories, archives, and private industry. DCEP was originally established in 2006 through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to develop a data curation curriculum and best practices for the LIS and scientific communities. IMLS provided additional funding in 2008 to extend the curriculum to include humanities data. Currently, we are able to provide internships with stipends at our partner organizations' sites as well as limited number of fellowships for qualified students.

Read more at the project site.

Project PI(s)

PI: Allen Renear
Project Contact: Virgil E. Varvel Jr.
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services

Research Area(s)

Digital Collections and Curation
CIRSS projects in this sector focus on how to build, represent, and make accessible research collections, with a particular focus on the challenges and opportunities associated with the curation and f…

Digital Humanities
Current projects cover different aspects of electronic publishing, markup schemas, text-mining and analysis, and music information retrieval. Digital humanities is an area of significant interest and …

Project Team

Allen Renear (PI)
Megan Senseney (Project Coordinator)
Virgil E. Varvel Jr. (Project Coordinator)
Carole L. Palmer (Researcher)


Thompson, C., Baker, K., Palmer, C. L., & Senseney, M. (2013, November). Specialization in Data Curation: Preliminary Results from an Alumni Survey, 2008-2012. Paper presented at ASIS&T 2013, Montreal, Canada.
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Palmer, C. L., Weber, N. M., Muñoz, T., & Renear, A. H. (2013). Foundations of Data Curation: The Pedagogy and Practice of "Purposeful Work" with Research Data. Archive Journal, 2013(3).
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Varvel, V. E., Bammerlin, E. J., & Palmer, C. L. (2012). Education for Data Professionals: A Study of Current Courses and Programs[poster]. In Proceedings of the 2012 iConference (pp. 10-12). doi:10.1145/2132176.2132275
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Renear, A., Muñoz, T., & Walter, K. (2011, November). Towards a New Agenda for Humanities Data Curation. Digital Library Federation (DLF) Forum, Baltimore, MD. Retrieved from
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All publications


November 1, 2011
Renear and Munoz present at 2011 DLF Forum: Towards a New Agenda for Humanities Data Curation
CIRSS faculty member Allen Renear and CIRSS external affiliate Trevor Munoz, along with Katherine Walter from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, are leading a working session, Towards A New Agenda for Humanities in Data Curation, at this y…

June 23, 2011
DCEP-H Project holds Advisory Board meeting
The CIRSS DCEP-H Project will be holding a meeting of its Advisory Board in Palo Alto on June 23rd following the Humanities Data Curation Summit.  The Data Curation Education Program for the Humanities (DCEP-H) extends the GSLIS Data Curation Educat…

June 23, 2011
Munoz presents at Digital Humanities 2011
CIRSS Research Assistant Trevor Munoz will be presenting Tasks vs. Roles: A Center Perspective on Data Curation Needs in the Humanities at the Digitial Humanities 2011 Conference in Palo Alto on June 21st.  The paper, authored by Trevor Munoz, Virgi…

May 24, 2011
CIRSS hosts the 2011 Summer Institute on Data Curation at GSLIS
  The Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) will host the 2011 Summer Institute on Data Curation at GSLIS, from Monday, June 6, through Thursday, June 9. Twenty-six applicants were accepted to this year’s Summer Ins…