(Hyper)active data curation: A video case study from behavioral science


Video data are uniquely suited for research reuse and for documenting research methods and findings. However, curation of video data is a serious hurdle for researchers in the social and behavioral sciences, where behavioral video data are obtained session by session and data sharing is not the norm. To eliminate the onerous burden of post hoc curation at the time of publication (or later), we describe best practices in active data curation—where data are curated and uploaded immediately after each data collection to allow instantaneous sharing with one button press at any time. Indeed, we recommend that researchers adopt “hyperactive” data curation where they openly share every step of their research process. The necessary infrastructure and tools are provided by Databrary—a secure, web-based data library designed for active curation and sharing of personally identifiable video data and associated metadata. We provide a case study of hyperactive curation of video data from the Play and Learning Across a Year (PLAY) project, where dozens of researchers developed a common protocol to collect, annotate, and actively curate video data of infants and mothers during natural activity in their homes at research sites across North America. PLAY relies on scalable standardized workflows to facilitate collaborative research, assure data quality, and prepare the corpus for sharing and reuse throughout the entire research process.

Journal of eScience Librarianship, 10(3)