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Gibson D. Lewis Library Libguides

Research Data Management

About Research Data Management

Graphic of the lifecycle of data - plan, collect, process, preserve, publish, and reuseLewis Library provides consultation services to help you navigate available resources throughout the data lifecycle. Contact us or your Library Liaison to schedule an appointment.

Why is Data Management Important?

It is worthwhile and timesaving to effectively manage data from the beginning of your project. Many funding agencies have data requirements and there is federal policy regarding open data. In fact, National Institutes of Health awards post-January 25, 2023 are required to align with the Data Management and Sharing Policy. This means creating and implementing a Data Management and Sharing plan for scientific data. Knowing how to manage and share your data throughout its life-cycle will save time and safeguard against catastrophic loss in the future.

Clearly documented data provides evidence for your research in conjunction with your published results. Describing data effectively can help you find or interpret older research data. Sharing data also promotes new discoveries and research, increasing the your research impact with additional citations.

This quick five-minute video reiterates the importance of good data management. It uses real-world examples of poor data storage, lack of metadata, and the impact of reusability.

Your Research Process

Before Your Research Begins

  • Explore funding agency requirements for data and write your Data Management Plan (DMP).
    • to find funder policies and DMPTool to create your DMP.
    • SPARC compiles a list of sharing requirements by federal funding agency.
  • Consider Institutional Review Board (IRB) policies when contemplating sharing data on human subjects.
  • Explore online tools to learn about the data life cycle and how to manage data.

During Your Research Process

  • Consider and create the metadata you will need to provide along with your data so others can understand and reuse.
  • Learn about the basics of copyright and the Creative Commons copyright license.
  • Select applications to store and back up your active data that offer flexibility, functionality, and access.
    • LabArchives is a digital lab notebook and is free for HSC researchers.

After Your Research Ends

  • Share and publish your data with the appropriate data archive or repository.
  • Learn how to cite datasets and ensure your data are cited correctly.