Monday, March 9, 2009

What is curated data?

The compound term curated data merely means data (in a loose sense, that may include even the most sophisticated computational formats for structured information, media, and even knowledge) that has been collected and organized under the supervision of one or more persons considered to be qualified to engage in such an activity. Such a person may in fact be a scientist or other expert in a relevant field, or may merely be someone acting in a clerical capacity who simply verifies that the data is "acceptable" according to the requirements of whoever has commissioned the curation of the data. The implication is that the resulting database (or data series or data set) is of high quality. The contrast is with data which may have been gathered through some automated process or using particularly low or unskilled workers such that the quality of the data is unverified and possibly unreliable.

An example of curated data is the extensive computable data supplied with Mathematica from Wolfram Research.

-- Jack Krupansky

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