As I implement curation as a process of engagement and training at work, I’m adding new learnings, ideas, and hacks to my body of knowledge. This post is a sort of a running note of the best practices of curation that I’ve either read about online or identified at my own workplace.

This post constitutes Part 1 of the entire set of Best Practices, and addresses Relevance, Timeliness, Research, Organization, and Integrity. My other best practices related to: Value Addition, Inclusion, Consistency, Communication, ROI, and Structure, will be addressed in a future post.

Relevance and Timeliness: Curate resources related to current- or, even more effective- upcoming key activities. For example, if the organization is getting ready to release the results of a pivotal study, it might be a good idea to curate resources on how to interpret Kaplan Meier curves, how to read a scientific paper, etc. It will also be useful to repost the results from the previous phase of the same study (as a recap).

Research, research, research: Cannot be emphasized enough. Systematic research is the key to locating the best available, and the most diverse, content for curation. Look for trusted sources and diverse viewpoints cutting across social strata.

Organization: This might very well be the secret sauce of curation. Effective curation organizes resources not just for presentation but also for storage and retrieval purposes. Here are some organization ideas I use while curating:

  • Organize and present content in themes
  • Use a set of consistent tags to group and a few unique tags to stand out
  • Use icons and tropes consistently for branding, for example, I use:
    • Did You Know: To present facts and figures related to the topic (epidemiology)
    • Top Tips: To include quick actionable advice
    • In Other Words: To showcase dissenting/ diverse voices and alternate opinions
    • Recap/ Showcase: To review previously curated content
  • Allow the learner to filter based on their own intuitive taxonomy. For example some learners might like to sort content by publication year, others by therapeutic area, and yet others by Congress or Conference.
  • Allow learners to access archives in intuitive categories
  • Allow filtered search (facets)
  • Organization works behind the scenes too. Set up a taxonomy, process, and online folder structure to research, save, access, archive, and update content. Tools like content calendar, automated workflows, intelligent search, Scoop.IT and Pinterest are effective in this regard.

Integrity: A curator is a researcher, presenter, facilitator, and archivist. A curator should not push specific information and withhold others based on their individual preferences.

  • Include data sources and link back, when possible
  • Acknowledge user contributions publicly
  • Do not edit published information!
  • Do not editorialize- include your opinion as a comment, if needed

As I said at the beginning of this post, this is only Part 1 of the entire set of Best Practices. I will address the remaining in a future post. Onwards to more learning with curation! An exciting time to work in content!

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