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Research Data Management Resources

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: 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. 

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.

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 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: 

  • HIPAA (1996)
  • NIH (2008)
  • NSF (2011)
  • FRPAA (2012)
  • OSTP (2013)
  • OPEN Government Data Act (2019)

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

Practical reasons to manage your data

A cautionary tale