Research data management guide

Data management is the storage, access and preservation of data produced during research. It covers the entire lifecycle of data, from planning the research to conducting it, and from backing up data during the project to long term preservation after the research has ended. (CASRAI)


Why manage your data?

Effective data management practices ensure that the data you collect today are used effectively and remain usable over time.

To understand how, watch this NYU Health Sciences Library video which highlights some common data mismanagement issues.

Here are some of the poor data management practices highlighted in the video

  • The researcher did not consider that his data may be useful to others in different fields and therefore did not plan for sharing.
  • The researcher was not aware of his funder’s and the publisher’s policies on sharing data.
  • The researcher did not use a repository to share his data, but relied on people contacting him directly for it.
  • The researcher only kept one copy of the data and he forgot where he had stored it.
  • The data on the memory stick could have been lost or damaged during his move, or in the mail.
  • The researcher used a data format that became obsolete, rather than an open format (such as csv, txt, etc).
  • The researcher did not provide sufficient metadata to explain what the column headings meant.
  • The researcher did not agree with his colleague on who would be responsible for keeping the data and metadata for the long term.

Source: Cambridge Libraries


Effective RDM practices also...
increase research impact
Increase your research impact

Making your data available to other researchers can impact discovery and relevance of your research

save time
Save time

Planning ahead for your data management needs will save you time and resources

preserve data
Preserve your data

Depositing your data in a repository safeguards your investment of time and resources while preserving your research contribution for you and others to use

maintain data integrity
Maintain data integrity

Managing and documenting your data throughout its life cycle will allow you and others to understand and use your data in the future

meet funder requirements
Meet journal & funder requirements

Many funding agencies and journals now require that researchers deposit data collected as part of a research project

promote new discoveries
Promote new discoveries

Sharing your data with other researchers can lead to new and unanticipated discoveries and provide research material for those with little or no funding

Source: National Network of Libraries of Medicine

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