Data curation is the management of data throughout its lifecycle, from creation and initial storage to the time when it is archived for posterity or becomes obsolete and is deleted. The main purpose of data curation is to ensure that data is reliably retrievable for future research purposes or reuse. Within the enterprise, compliance is another primary purpose.
The term data curation is used throughout the sciences and the humanities. In an IT (information technology) context, the term is roughly synonymous with data lifecycle management (DLM).