Institutions that maintain and make accessible research data created by others act as data curators. As such, they must have a means of understanding what data they house and describing it for other potential users. The digital curation of data involves the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of the data. These activities add value to the data and help explicate the circumstances of their creation and why they are useful to others. They also help ensure that data remains preserved and accessible in the future.