Curation covers a wide range of activities, starting with finding the right data structures to map into various stores. It includes the schema and the necessary metadata for longevity and for integration across instruments, experiments, and laboratories.
Without such explicit schema and metadata, the interpretation is only implicit and depends strongly on the particular programs used to analyze it. Ultimately, such uncurated data is guaranteed to be lost. We must think carefully about which data should be able to live forever and what additional metadata should be captured to make this feasible.
— The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery by Tony Hey, Stewart Tansley, et al.