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back up regularly (automate this if at all possible)
document your data thoroughly (metadata, data dictionary)
name and organize files according to a schema
use version control
secure the data appropriately
cite any secondary data you use
consider your long-term plan
What will you keep, for how long, where, and who will pay for it?
What kinds of reuse or sharing will be allowed? In what timeframe?
Why is managing research data important?
Good data management:
ensures integrity of data
ensures that data is findable and usable when grad students leave projects over the years
makes the data of a project readily understandable to people outside the project
enables the sharing of data within and across disciplines
makes it easier to archive and preserve data in the long term
encourages data citation to increase the impact of the research
Yale is a member of Dryad!
Dryad is an open-source, research data curation and publication platform, making data publishing easy for the researcher. The Dryad platform accepts data from any discipline. As institutional member Yale researchers can deposit their data free of charge without limitation on the number of datasets deposited.
Highlights of the platform:
In addition to supporting datasets as part of a journal submission, Dryad now also supports datasets being submitted independently
Data can be uploaded from cloud storage or lab servers
Dryad is committed to supporting the changing needs of research allowing for datasets to be submitted and published at any point in the research process, providing full support for versioning, and fields for notes, methods and vocabularies. While Dryad accepts all research data, the platform is intended for complete, re-usable, low risk and open research datasets. For information on Dryad’s guidelines for human subjects data, see https://datadryad.org/docs/HumanSubjectsData.pdf
White House Office of Science & Technology Policy memo requiring all Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research.
Research data often comes with terms and conditions of use. Check with OSP to determine if data you want to use requires a data use agreement.
What is research data?
Research data is loosely defined as information collected, observed, or created for purposes of analysis to produce original research.
This includes observational variables like rainfall, wind speed, water quality, or survey data; simulated data from earthquake models; experimental data from lab instruments; and derived or compiled data for text mining or testing algorithms. Research data can take almost any digital file format (video, text, photographs, numbers), so managing it effectively can be a challenge.