Data Curation in the Digital Age: Converting Challenges into Opportunities
Abstract: Technological innovations are increasingly changing opinions about what counts as data as well as perspectives on how to access, collect, format, analyze and present data.
While these developments have revolutionized a central academic concern – the pressure to find new and original data — researchers must navigate new platforms, software packages, and ethical considerations with limited support from technological infrastructures and university offices adapting to these changes in real time. New forms of data, analysis and dissemination can enrich scholarly productivity across academic disciplines and diverse geographic contexts but also provoke reconsideration of best practices. What are the ethics of analyzing social media and how does one reference content that may eventually disappear from the internet? How can scholars make the most of technological advances when the gold standard for most academics, publication in a peer-reviewed journal, remains a relatively non-dynamic means of disseminating findings? This presentation considers these questions and other major issues posed by the changing terms of data curation in the digital age, recasting such challenges as opportunities.
Alexander Huezo is an experienced educator, embarking on his scholarly career with a keen interest in current trends in data curation, especially with regard to the integration of qualitative data and geospatial analysis. During graduate studies – a Ph.D. in Global and Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University and a master's in Latin American studies at UCLA - he collected and analyzed data from a wide range of sources including personal interviews, archives (historical, audio, and digital), geographic databases, and institutional websites.
Huezo's dissertation research explored the disconnect between government officials and rural Afro-Colombian communities embroiled in the war on drugs.