Committing to Data Quality Review
Amid the pressure and enthusiasm for researchers to share data, a rapidly growing number of tools and services have emerged. What do we know about the quality of these data? Why does quality matter? And who should be responsible for data quality? We believe an essential measure of data quality is the ability to engage in informed reuse, which requires that data are independently understandable. In practice, this means that data must undergo quality review, a process whereby data and associated files are assessed and required actions are taken to ensure files are independently understandable for informed reuse. This paper explains what we mean by data quality review, what measures can be applied to it, and how it is practiced in three domain-specific archives. We explore a selection of other data repositories in the research data ecosystem, as well as the roles of researchers, academic libraries, and scholarly journals in regard to their application of data quality measures in practice. We end with thoughts about the need to commit to data quality and who might be able to take on those tasks.
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