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Research Data Management Resources   Tags: data, data curation, data management, e-science, open_data, scientific research data management  

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Why Manage Data? Print Page

Good data management

"Good data management is fundamental for high quality research data and research excellence.

Data management covers all aspects of handling, organising, documenting and enhancing research data. It is particularly important for facilitating data sharing, ensuring the sustainability and accessibility of data in the long-term, and allowing data to be re-used for future science."

From the UK Data Archive Resource Getting Started. Available from:

See also Corti L, Van den Eyden V, Bishop L, and Wollard M. (2014) Managing and Sharing Research Data: A Guide to Good Practice. Sage Publications. 


Data is going public!

The demand for public access to research data is growing. In February 2013, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a directive calling for all funding agencies with over $100 million in R&D expenditures to ensure that they provide for public access to their research products, including primary research data. While the policies and systems for making these research products publicly available are evolving (see proposals such as CHORUS and SHARE), the requirement that federally funded research data be managed, preserved and shared has been established. 

Brief history of federal policies around data sharing: 

  • HIPAA (1996)
  • NIH (2008)
  • NSF (2011)
  • FRPAA (2012)
  • OSTP (2013)

See Goben A. and Salo D. (2013) Federal research: data requirements set to change. C&RL News, September 2013, pp 421-425. Available from:


Lost Data

The Availability of Research Data Declines Rapidly with Article Age (Current Biology, 19 December 2013)

A Canadian study published in the journal Current Biology reports that 80% of scientific data are lost within two decades.  "Our results reinforce the notion that, in the long term, research data cannot be reliably preserved by individual researchers, and further demonstrate the urgent need for policies mandating data sharing via public archives."


Why manage data?

Data management is an integral part of the research process. Why should you take the time to do it well? 

  • Be compliant
    Funders, institutions, and publishers have policies governing how data is managed and shared.These policies effect you.
  • Be efficient
    Well-managed data is easier to find, understand, analyze, validate, and share. Get organized.
  • Be responsible
    Data Management is a core ethics principle of the Responsible Conduct of Research. Learn more.
  • Be transparent
    Data that is appropriately managed and described supports published research conclusions. Poorly managed data does not. 
  • Be acknowledged!
    You can be cited for data sets in the same way that you can be cited for a published paper! And openly accessible data sets correlate to an increase in citations! Learn how.


Practical reasons to manage your data


A cautionary tale


Contact Us

UMMS Librarians can answer questions and direct you to local resources for research data management:

Lisa Palmer, MSLS, AHIP
Institutional Repository Librarian

Rebecca Reznik-Zellen, MA, MLIS
Head of Research and Scholarly Communication Services

We're here to help!


Archive & Data Management Training Center


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