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Facilitating Data Management: DCXL

CDL has launched a new project dubbed Digital Curation for Excel (DCXL), led by UC3’s project manager Carly Strasser. Carly comes to the CDL with a PhD in Biological Oceanography from Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; her most recent postdoc was at NCEAS (UCSB) where she became involved with the DataONE project and evaluating various socio-cultural issues associated with data. The DCXL project is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Microsoft Research.

The goal of the DCXL project is to facilitate data management, sharing, and archiving for earth, environmental, and ecological scientists.  The main result from the project will be an open source add-in for Microsoft Excel that will assist scientists in preparing their Excel data for sharing. Initial ideas include generating metadata, incorporating links to scientific data repositories and their requirements, and using controlled domain-specific vocabularies.

The project has just begun, so it is still taking shape. Over the next year, Carly will be spending time with the Excel user community of interest – ecologists and environmental/earth scientists – collecting software requirements. Her work will involve trips to many of the UC campuses, as well as attending conferences and conducting phone interviews.

To facilitate communication with scientists, librarians, archivists, repositories, and other interested parties, the project maintains a twitter feed (@dcxlCDL), a Facebook ( page and a WordPress blog (  Carly will be documenting the project’s findings and updating the community on progress made using these tools.

Please contact Carly ( if you have questions about the project, or ideas about how we might better connect with the user community. She will be in touch with librarians before her visits to UC campuses, so stay tuned.