Documentation of data making, processing and use facilitates future reuse of research data: the CAPTURE project


  • Isto Huvila
  • Stefan Ekman



paradata, research data, research process, process documentation, research data management


Reuse of research data requires knowing what the data is about but also of how it was created and previously processed, interpreted and used. The major challenges in capturing enough – but not too much – such process information, termed paradata, are to know what to document and how to document it in adequate detail and form. This paper showcases research and findings from the ERC-funded research project CAPTURE, which develops in-depth understanding of how paradata is being created and used today and which elicits and explores methods for capturing paradata. From a research infrastructure perspective, the most challenging question for managing paradata is how to enable and support the creation of paradata that is sufficient, relevant for its future reusers, and not too labour-intensive to produce and maintain. Considering the significant extent to which paradata is coincidental and exists because of the lack of data cleaning and management, a major challenge is also how to strike a balance between too much and too little standardisation.