Introduction and Overview to Data Curation in the Arctic Social Sciences

Authors: Colleen Strawhacker

Conference paper


A brief overview of various activities will be provided to kick off the session on data from the Arctic social sciences. The chair of the session (Strawhacker) will provide examples of ongoing projects that could not be represented at the conference and discuss future directions and ideas for Arctic social scientific data curation and management. What should be the priorities and foci? How should the data produced by the Arctic Social Science Program at the National Science Foundation best be managed? This session is designed to discuss a vision for data for the Arctic social sciences over the next 10 years and assess current opportunities for moving forward.


The session will include a series of lightning talks on major data products for the Arctic Social Sciences Program at the National Science Foundation. These products include the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge in the Arctic (ELOKA), Patchwork Barents, and cyberNABO. These projects show the breadth of which data curation and visualization are occurring for a number of disciplines in the Arctic social sciences, including archaeology, digital humanities, political science, and Indigenous Knowledge. These products are also geared toward a number of different audiences, including academic researchers, data journalists, and Indigenous communities in the Arctic, providing breadth and diversity from a number of perspectives.

Questions for Discussion

After the series of lightning talks, Strawhacker (Strawhacker et al. 2013). will lead the panel in discussion with the audience with a number of already prepared questions, as well as questions from the audience. These questions are designed to assess the current state of data curation for the Arctic socials sciences and define gaps and opportunities that can be addressed in the coming decade. These questions will include: What audiences should be served by these data products? What should these data products ultimately be doing (e.g., data management, data visualization, data integration, etc.)? Why are we simply limited to the Arctic and should we focus on other regions as we create these tools?

The discussion around these questions will be summarized through a report to the program manager for the Arctic Social Science Program at the National Science Foundation.


The author would like to thank Anna Kerttula for her contribution in visions from the National Science Foundation. Further funding was provided by the Council of Library and Information Resources Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Strawhacker, C, Pulsifer, P, and Gearheard, S. (2013). New Efforts to Ensure the Proper Management and Curation of Social Science Data from the Arctic. In Northern Notes Issue 40 (Autumn/Winter 2013), edited by C. Manzo and G. Fondahl. International Arctic Social Sciences Association Secretariat, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George.