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Research Data Management: Home

This guide provides information about managing research data in any discipline.


This guide provides information about managing research data in any discipline.  Use the tabs above or menu at left to find information about managing data at all points along the data life cycle, as well as preparing a Data Management Plan.

What is Research Data Management?

According to the Office of Management and Budget, "research data is defined as the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings" (OMB Circular A-110).  Research Data Management encompasses the practices and procedures around organizing, describing, protecting, and sharing research data, in effect, managing data throughout the research life cycle.

This guide provides information and links to resources about all aspects of research data management.  The following links provide general overviews of the concepts related to data management practices.

Data Management & Curation
The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) guide to all aspects of managing research data

What is digital curation?
A quick guide from the UK's Data Curation Centre (DCC) defining digital curation

Why should I manage my data?

Following research data management best practices has several benefits for researchers, their institutions, and external stakeholders, including:

  • Compliance with federal funding agency requirements
  • Improved efficiency of workflows and accuracy of results
  • Greater protection of research data files and information
  • Increased opportunities for citing and sharing research data
  • Wider dissemination of results and increased reuse of data in a variety of applications

Data Sharing and Management Snafu in 3 Short Acts (YouTube)
A humorous but poignant video demonstrating data re-use problems caused by poor data management

Data Stories
A collection of data stories, both good and bad, that demonstrate the effects of data management practices on research projects, as collected by the Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE).

Kristin Briney's Data Horror Stories blog
A collection of data management examples: the consequences of not following data management best practices, collected by Kristin Briney, a librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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