Geo data – support for researchers

Data Management Roles

In the data publication process, the role of each party that is involved should be clear, here we explain these different roles and responsibilities in data publication and curation: 

Data creator: The researcher responsible for collecting, generating, or re-using research data and documents contexts and processes that relates to data handling. 

Data contributor: An internal or external person or entity that has contributed data to a project in some way.  

Data owner: The principal researcher of the project or research group leader who is responsible for establishing who has access to the data, and reducing or mitigating the risk of any mishaps; e.g. improper storage facility, non-compliance with specific guidelines. 

Data depositor: Either the data creator or data owner and is the person who will perform the deposit of the data to a data preservation facility, like a repository or data archive. They perform activities such as uploading data after it has been generated, making it suitable for archiving, creating metadata and data documentation and submitting the data to the facility, so it can be preserved for the long-term. 

Data consumer: Someone who is interested in access to research data for re-use or verification. 

Data custodian:  A data curator who ensures availability and reliability. They also monitor access to the data, support data owners in fulfilling data access requests and possess deeper technical knowledge about the backend of the repository or storage system and ensuring data are in compliance with relevant policies before publication. 

Data steward: A supporter who advises researchers on data management, privacy and information security aspects and can understand the meaning and applications of the data. They support:  

  • data creators on quality assurance, storage, policy compliance   
  • data depositors on data selection, metadata and data documentation creation, preserving and publishing  
  • data custodians on data curation, access controls, FAIR data management  


Researchers and supporters can have multiple roles (e.g., the data creator can also be data owner and data depositor, and a data custodian can also be data steward).