"Data Management" is the process of controlling and managing data before, during and after a research project.
Researchers should take steps to manage their data effectively. This ensures that research and associated data is safe, promotes the potential for data reuse and assists in the compliance of government and funding guidelines.
The UWC Library provides several services and resources to assist researchers.
- advice on how to compile a data management plan
- data storage and preservation
- data sharing and discovery.
Data Management Plan as a Requirement
Institutions and funding agencies require a detailed description of the research data management plans to be submitted at proposal stage.
Data management plans involve making decisions at the beginning of the research project regarding:
- which software to use
- how to organise, store and manage your data
- what to include in any consent agreements negotiated.
The Data Plan includes details covering the following:
- what data will be created
- how will the data be documented and described
- how will ethics and intellectual property rights (IPR) be managed
- what are the plans for data sharing and access
- what is the strategy for long-term preservation and sustainability
What is the research lifecycle?
- Research activity often takes place in various stages which forms a "lifecycle"
- Data are created at various stages during this lifecycle
- The data created have their own lifespan.
According to the UK Data Archive,
"...Data often have a longer lifespan than the research project that creates them. Researchers may continue to work on data after funding has ceased, follow-up projects may analyse or add to the data, and data may be re-used by other researchers."
Researchers are encouraged to check instructions to authors on how to handle research data files before submitting a manuscript to any journal.
Publishers like NATURE, PLoS and SCIENCE require research data to be submitted with.