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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

PI: Allen Renear
Project Contact: Virgil E. Varvel Jr.
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


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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Palmer, C. L. (2011, September). Investing in research data. Closing address for the Illinois Research Data Initiative Opening Symposium. Urbana, IL.
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All publications


August 01 2012
Ashley Clark to present paper at Balisage 2012
CIRSS RA Ashley Clark will present a paper at the mark-up conference Balisage, held 1-10 August 2012 in Montreal, Canada.  Her paper, "Meta: Exploring the Provenance of XSL Transformations," is the product of her work with CIRSS' l...

June 11 2012
Final Report Published for Long-running IMLS Data Curation Education Program Grant
"Centuries of Knowledge: Graduate School of Library and Information Science Data Curation Education Program" (DCEP), one of our most successful and long-running grant projects, concluded this December, and the final report is now available ...

November 01 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...

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