eScience in Action

Data Curation in Practice: Extract Tabular Data from PDF Files Using a Data Analytics Tool

  • Allis J Choi (Penn State University)
  • Xuying Xin (Penn State University)


Data curation is the process of managing data to make it available for reuse and preservation and to allow FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) uses. It is an important part of the research lifecycle as researchers are often either required by funders or generally encouraged to preserve the dataset and make it discoverable and reusable. This has been especially important as the Open Access (OA) policy is being implemented in many institutions across the nation. In facilitating research data discovery and enhancing its easier reuse, an efficient data repository and its data curation play key roles. In this article, we briefly discuss the local institutional repository at Penn State University and the general data curation practices we adopt for the deposited files and datasets, then we focus on a data analytics tool that has recently been applied to extract tabular data from PDF files. This is an enhancement to the existing data curation practices as it adds additional tabular data to deposits with PDF files where tables are often embedded and not easily reused.

Keywords: data curation, PDF, data extraction, tabular data, reusable, discoverable, institutional repository, DCN

How to Cite:

Choi, A. J. & Xin, X., (2021) “Data Curation in Practice: Extract Tabular Data from PDF Files Using a Data Analytics Tool”, Journal of eScience Librarianship 10(3): 10. doi:

Rights: © 2021 Choi & Xin. This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Published on
11 Aug 2021