Digital Curation in the Italian context: new roles and professions for Digital Librarians


Publication date



Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Document type


Joint Master Degree in Digital Library Learning (DILL)


The aim of this research is to analyse the activity of digital curation in the Italian context, focusing the attention on the IT skills and competencies of the digital curator. The main hypothesis comes from a reflection on the creation of new roles in the practice of data curation. The first objective is to demonstrate that data curation can be the basis for the development of different professions, such as data librarians, data journalists, data analysts etc. Another objective is to individuate a common core of technical and IT skills that can help them to find a specific specialization. Last, within a specific theoretical framework that concerns the data curation lifecycle, these new roles in data management allow digital librarians to add value to the whole data lifecycle, since curators contribute to find different patterns of knowledge within data and datasets. A qualitative approach has been adopted, using collective and instrumental case studies as research method. Five semi-structured interviews have been conducted among people that deal with digital curation in Italy, such as librarians, digital humanists, data experts. The results of the study show a varied context in which, although it is possible to individuate some basic IT skills, the specialization of the curricula calls for a more in-depth analysis. Additionally, a certain level of homogeneity among participants has been found in the perception and evaluation of the context.


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