Why manage my data?
On this page
- Data management plans
- Where can I deposit my data?
- Data storage and file formats
- Confidentiality issues
- Documenting your data
Why manage my data?
Meet funding agency or journal requirements
An increasing number of agencies and journals are requiring researchers to retain and share their research data. Recently, the Tri-Agency (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) have launched a consultation on digital assets management and recommended the production of data management plans as pre-requisite for obtaining grants.
Increase the visibility and impact of your research
Research indicates that publishing your data in a widely-searched repository will increase citation rates.
Ensure your data safety, accuracy, and reliability
Using appropriate tools and procedures will prevent data loss, facilitate version control and safe access to datasets by members or your research team.
Preserve your data for the medium or long term
Existing data repositories have the resources and expertise to preserve your data and share it in a safe and controlled way.
Make your data reusable
Adopting good documentation practices and use of recognized metadata standards saves time by ensuring yourself, your research team and others can make sense of and use your data in the future.
Ensure the confidentiality of your research subjects and respect ethics policies
Make sure that your inform consent form has a provision for data sharing. Evaluate the sensitivity of your data and, if necessary, consider restricting access to your published datasets.
Frequently asked questions
I want to complete my research and make publications before I share my data. Is that possible?
Yes. You can decide to impose an embargo, setting a period of time before the data is released, on your data until you have completed all your publications and make full use of your research outputs.
How can I preserve the confidentially of my research subjects?
It is crucial to maintain the confidentially of research participants. This can be done is several ways by deleting nominative information and ensuring that indirect information will not allow users to identify individuals. ICPSR provides detailed information on how this can be achieved. Some data repositories like ICPSR will even conduct a confidentiality assessment of datasets before releasing them.
Can I control who has access to my data?
Yes. Data archiving does not always imply data sharing. Under certain circumstances, some sensitive datasets can be preserved in a repository without being made public. In any case, most data repositories allow depositors to set conditions of use which potential users need to agree to before being given access to the data. However we encourage researchers to make their datasets public as to facilitate data reuse and collaboration.