National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
Institute of Medicine
National Research Council
Board on Research Data and Information
Policy and Global Affairs
Quick Links


Contact Us
Board on Research Data and Information
Policy and Global Affairs Division
The National Academies
Room 511
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Phone: (202) 334-1531
Fax: (202) 334-2231

Future Career Opportunities and Educational Requirements for Digital Curation
In December 2011, the Board on Research Data and Information launched its first consensus study titled “Future Career Opportunities and Educational Requirements for Digital Curation.” For the purposes of this study, Digital Curation is defined as the active management and enhancement of digital information assets for current and future use. The study will be performed pursuant to the following statement of task:
  1. Identify the various practices and spectrum of skill sets that comprise digital curation, looking in particular at human versus automated tasks, both now and in the foreseeable future. 
  2. Examine the possible career path demands and options for professionals working in digital curation activities, and analyze the economic and social importance of these employment opportunities for the nation over time. In particular, identify and analyze the evolving roles of digital curation functions in research organizations, and their effects on employment opportunities and requirements.
  3. Identify and assess the existing and future models for education and training in digital curation skill sets and career paths in various domains.
  4. Produce a consensus report with findings and recommendations, taking into consideration the various stakeholder groups in the digital curation community, that address items 1-3 above.
The study consensus report will be published, in the first half of 2014, in accordance with NRC procedures. The study is sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. An ad hoc study committee has been appointed by the President of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct the study and write the consensus report.
Members of the study committee:
Dr. Margaret Hedstrom - (Chair), University of Michigan
Dr. Peter Fox, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Michael F. Goodchild, University of California, Santa Barbara 
Ms. Heather Joseph, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
Dr. Ron Larsen, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Carole L. Palmer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
Dr. Steven Ruggles, University of Minnesota
Dr. David E. Schindel, Smithsonian Institution
Dr. Stephen Wandner, The Urban Institute
Study committee meetings:
The study committee held its first meeting on 15th and 16th of December, 2011 in Washington, DC. It held its second meeting on 3rd and 4th of May 2012 in Washington, DC. In the second meeting several guest speakers were invited to make presentations and participate in discussions on topics that are relevant to the scope of the study. The speakers were: Lauren Csorny, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor; Nirmala Kannankutty, National Science Foundation; Gail Greenfield, National Research Council; Rachel Frick, Coalition for Library Information Resources; Carole Palmer, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; and Michael Chui, McKinsey Global Institute.
As part of its third meeting, the study committee held a 1-day symposium on July 19, 2012 in Washington DC. The committee invited several experts from the academia, private sector and the governmental agencies to provide their perspectives on digital curation workforce demand, education and training currently, and in the next decade. The symposium was open to the public and all stakeholders in the digital curation field. The agenda is available here.
Contact information:
For more information please feel to contact the study director, Subhash Kuvelker (, or the BRDI director, Paul Uhlir (