goals are remarkably such as those of archivists and records managers, who, in a digital
world, must begin planning for and managing data early in the records life cycle to ensure
that long-term preservation occurs in spite of evolving formats and rapid technological
obsolescence. Thus, moreand more archivists and records managers are engaging in digital
curation activities, even ifthey are not aware of it. With its focus on ensuring access, it also
relates closely to theactivities of librarians and archivists.
According to Beagrie (2008), the term ﬁrst arose in 2001 during the “Digital Curation:
Digital Archives, Libraries and E-Science Seminar”sponsored by the Digital Preservation
Coalition and the British National Space Centreto establish dialog among archivists, library
and information managementspecialists and data managers in e-Science (the term e-Science
is used in Britain roughlyanalogously to the way “Cyberinfrastructure”is used in the USA).
The term “digital curation”wasdesigned to avoid confusion with a few other terms, such as
“digital preservation,”“digital archiving”and “digital records management,”which were
inconsistentlyused in different professional circles.
The deﬁnition of digital curation has been improvedand articulated since then. Giaretta
and Rankin (2005) distinguished digital curation from other related terms as “looking after
and somehow ‘adding value’to digital data”, which led to the Joint Information System
Committee’s ( JISC) deﬁnition of the term as “maintaining and adding value to a trusted body
of digital information for current and future use, speciﬁcally the active management and
appraisal of data over the entire life cycle”[the Joint Information System Committee (JISC),
2006]. Yakel (2007, p. 338) pointed out that the term digital curation reﬂected the life cycle
activities related to research or e-Science data, and it can be used as the “umbrella term for
digital preservation, data curation, digital assets and electronic records management”.
Finally, Digital Curation Centre (DCC) (2010a) summarizes that “Digital curation involves
maintaining, preserving and addingvalue to digital research data throughout its lifecycle”,
and it asserts that the digital curation comprises a range of activities that promote the
maintenance, accessibility,and preservation of digital data.
Thus, within this article, “digital curation”refers to the range of activities required to
manage, maintain, preserve andensure access to digital information. As we focus on digital
curation activities spanning across the digital information’s entire life cycle rather than
focusing on the speciﬁc use of theterm “digital curation”, the literature discussed within this
article also encompasses related areas where digital curation activities are fundamental to
these areas, such as data curation, digital preservation, electronic records management,
e-Science and digitallibrarianship.
As digital curation becomes a rising research and professional ﬁeld, Yakel et al. (2011)
predict a growing need for a new generation of information professionalswho can perform
digital curation activitiesin the digital environment. These professionals are often known as
digital curators. To meet such requirements, educators and researchers have examined the
competencies that are essential for this emerging type of information professional.
Meanwhile, academic and professional institutions have initiated educational and training
programs to prepare future digital curators. Many current programs take a relatively
pragmatic approach that emphasizes digital curation skills that are currently needed, but
fewer programs adopt a competency-based approach that aims to build a range of
competencies that are neededfor digital curation work. Competency-based approaches have
been increasingly accepted in professional education and training around the world (Le
Deist and Winterton, 2005); it is time tocomprehensively examine digital curation from the
perspective of professionalcompetency.
Competency-based approaches provide a wider conceptual framework that captures
more essential activities and better represents the totality of digital curation work, thereby