Data curation by design

starts at the moment of creation.

Rentmeester is the Dutch word for curator or steward. It is the role to take care of valuable assets such as an estate on behalf of its multi stakeholders. My father was the steward of Singraven. His vision of good custodianship of an estate also applies to data. It is very important to maintain an estate well: to use it and make it accessible to its stakeholders. This is the best way to keep it available for future generations. Most citizens, researchers or (care) professionals will not be able and willing to be the custodian or curator of their data.

Data needs to be curated at the moment of creation. E.g. when it is generated by an instrument/device or person entering data in an application. Once data is selected (by policy or a person that decides it needs to be curated) it becomes a record or archival item. This record should be referenced, because it doesn’t change over time. In many cases it’s from a policy/legal/compliance perspective not even allowed to be changed, because it will lose its integrity. The above principle of curating data by design. This is very different from the current practice of copying data (backup) or archiving data after a certain period or when it’s not actively used.


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