An introduction to managing

research data
Jenni Crossley
Research Librarian
20th November 2014

My research data is:

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B. Backed up twice and
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C. Backed up once,
could be safer
D. Not backed up at all

I can find my research data

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A. Really easily, I have a
well thought out filing
system
B. Quite easily, but my
filing system could be
better
C. Not very easily, I really
need to improve my
filing system
D. With great difficulty,
what's a filing system?

The amount of research data I will
produce

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A. Has been well
considered; I have a
good idea how much
storage I will need
B. Has been considered,
but is unlcear at this
point
C. Has not really been
considered. Is this
important?
D. Has not been
considered at all

In terms of sharing my data

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A. I know what can or
cannot be shared
B. I think I know what
can or cannot be
shared
C. I really don't know
what can or cannot
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D. Can data be shared?

In terms of data ownership

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A. I am confident that I
know who owns the
data I work with
B. I think I know who owns
the data I work with
C. I'm not really sure who
owns the data I work
with
D. I have no idea who
owns the data I work
with

I know what will happen to my data at
the end of my project

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A. Yes, there is a clear
plan for this
B. There is a vague plan
for this
C. It's been considered,
but there is no plan
for this yet
D. It has not been
considered

What does “data” mean to you?








Weather measurements
Photographs
Results from experiments
Government records
GIS data
Simulation data
Log data
Field notes
Software

• Images (e.g. brain scans)
• Quantitative data (e.g.
household survey data)
• Historical documents
• Moving images
• Physical objects: such as
bones or blood samples
• Digitised photos / born
digital photos
• Social media data: tweets
• Metadata

Learning material produced by RDMRose http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/is/research/projects/rdmrose

Research data – a definition
• Research data are collected, observed or
created for the purpose of analysis, to
produce and validate original research results.
• Can be either digital or analogue.

• “Stuff!”

Defining research data management
• the active management and appraisal of data
over the lifecycle of scholarly and scientific
interest
• “Research data management concerns the
organisation of data, from its entry to the
research cycle through to the dissemination
and archiving of valuable results.” (Whyte &
Tedds, 2011)

Defining research data management
• Not just archiving, preserving, or sharing –
although that might be the end game
• Good RDM starts before a project, and
continues after the lifespan of the initial work

• Data management plans

Why should I manage my research
data?
Research data is a valuable asset.
Without your data you have no project.
What would you do
if you lost your
research data
tomorrow?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnbullas/61631745/

Research data management can:
• Prevent data loss
• Make it easier to locate your data
• Help with validation of results and
demonstrate research integrity
• Offer collaboration through data re-use and
sharing
• Is part of good research practice!

And also
The nature of research governance and
communication is changing:



Funder requirements
Publishers
Open access underpinned by data
Not unique to UWE

What does the research lifecycle look
like?
Write proposal
Validate

Start project

Acquire
sample

Publish

Generate,
Interpret

Create,
Collect

Analyze

Process

Research360

What does a data management cycle
look like?

Data Curation
Centre

And a slightly simplified version

5.
Preservation
& Re-Use

1.
Create

4.
Publication
& Deposit

2.
Active Use

3.
Documentation

What does this mean?
• That you need to plan!
– Make informed decisions
– Anticipate problems
– Make your life easier

Creating a data management plan
Start with a brief plan written at the start of your
project to define:





how your data will be created
how it will be documented
who will access it
where it will be stored
who will back it up
whether (and how) it will be shared & preserved

DMPs are often submitted as part of grant applications,
but are useful whenever you’re creating data.

What to include
1. What data will you produce?
2. How will you organise / look after the data?

3. Can you / others understand the data?
4. What data will be deposited and where?
5. Who will be interested in re-using the data?

1. What data will you produce?
•5.
•Preservation
•& Re-Use

•1.
•Create

What type of data will you
produce?
What types of file format?
How easy is it to create or
reproduce?

•4.
•Publication
•& Deposit

•2.
•Active Use

•3.
•Documentation

Who owns and is responsible
for it?

2. How will you look after the data?
•5.
•Preservation
•& Re-Use

•1.
•Create

Is your data safe?

Is your data
organised?
•4.
•Publication
•& Deposit

•2.
•Active Use

•3.
•Documentation

Can you find your
data?

3. How will you document the data?
•5.
•Preservation
•& Re-Use

•4.
•Publication
•& Deposit

•1.
•Create

•2.
•Active Use

•3.
•Documentation

Do you still understand
your older work?
Is the file structure /
naming
understandable to
others?
Which data will be kept?
Which data can be
discarded?

4. What data will be deposited and where?
Are you expected to share
your data?
•5.
•Preservation
•& Re-Use

•4.
•Publication
•& Deposit

•1.
•Create

•2.
•Active Use

•3.
•Documentation

Are you allowed to share
your data?
Define the core data set of
the project
Which data will be included
in your publication /
thesis?

5. Preservation and Re-use
•5.
•Preservation
•& Re-Use

•1.
•Create

How long will your data be
reusable for?
Do you need to prepare your
data for long term
archive?

•4.
•Publication
•& Deposit

•2.
•Active Use

•3.
•Documentation

Which data do you need to
keep?

Tips for writing DMPs




Seek advice - consult and collaborate
Consider good practice for your field
Base plans on available skills & support and
Make sure implementation is feasible
Decide who will implement the plan – and
then make sure it happens
• Decide how often, and by whom, the plan will
be reviewed

An activity
• Think about a project with which you are
currently involved
• Considering what you have heard, try to
answer the questions on the sample data
management plan
• Use UWE guidance to help:
– http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/library/usingthelibrary/re
searchers/manageresearchdata/managingresearc
hdata/guidance.aspx

Final thoughts
• This is only a brief introduction
• Data management is a journey
– Start with your plan, you might have to re-route

• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbBa6Oa
m7-w

Acknowledgement
Some content for this sessions has been taken from two projects
which have developed DMP resources for PhD students:

• DataTrain
http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/preservation/datatrain
• Research360
• http://blogs.bath.ac.uk/research360/category/training

Sources of guidance
• ICPSR framework for a data management plan
www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/content/datamanagement/dmp/f
ramework.html
• How to develop a data management and sharing plan
www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/how-guides/develop-data-plan
• UWE Managing research data guidance
http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/library/usingthelibrary/researchers/man
ageresearchdata/managingresearchdata/guidance.aspx

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