"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: http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/create-manage/planning-for-sharing/getting-started.
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 management is an integral part of the research process. Why should you take the time to do it well?
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 initiatives 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:
See Goben A. and Salo D. (2013) Federal research: data requirements set to change. C&RL News, September 2013, pp 421-425. Available from: http://crln.acrl.org/content/74/8/421.full.