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Data and Statistics: Data Management

What is Research Data Management (RDM)?

Research Data Management (RDM) is a broad concept that includes processes undertaken to create organized, documented, accessible, and reusable quality research data.

Louise Corti, Veerle Van den Eynden, Libby Bishop, and Matthew Woollard, Managing and Sharing Research Data: A Guide to Good Practice (Los Angeles: Sage, 2014), 2.

Data Life Cycle

DMP Tools (Data Management Plan)

The DMPTool is a free and open source online application that helps researchers create data management plans.

DMP Online helps you to create, review and share data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements.

Why Data Management?

  • Save Time: Properly managing data is in a researcher’s best interest; being able locate past or current data and accompanying metadata saves time, frustration, and money.
  • Increase Citations: Well-managed data is easy to share, which can lead to the data itself being cited; making the data available may also lead to more citations for the original paper. [6]
  • Enhance Reproducibility: Data management enhances reproducibility by making the methodology more transparent.
  • Preserve Data: While data management encourages researchers to consider backup and security measures, it also ensures that data is preserved, not just stored. Preservation focuses on the long-term ability to access and use data, and considers interoperability and open file formats.
  • Required Sharing: Funders and journals have begun to require data sharing as a requirement of publication or award acceptance; Nature, PLoS One, and the American Journal of Political Science all have data sharing requirements.
  • Required Data Management Plans: A variety of government funders (e.g., NSF, NIH) and private funders (e.g., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [7]) require data management plans and/or data sharing.
  • Prevent Retraction: Accessible data protects from retraction; the New England Journal of Medicine retracted an article after the underlying data could not be located [8], as has Cell Cycle. [9]

From Keeping Up With... Research Data Management