Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research Data Management Guide

A guide for managing data.

Follow the Data Lifecycle

Best Practices

  • Create a Data Management Plan. This will help you make decisions about the needs of your data throughout its life.
  • If your research has a funder (or multiple), know their requirements about data management.
  • As much as possible, plan to follow practices that increase the reproducibility of your work.

Organize:

  • Create a simple, easy to intuit organizational structure for your data, so that you and secondary users can easily locate information later on.
  • Use a consistent, simple file naming system

Document:

  • Create and maintain metadata that describes your organizational choices for others
  • A txt or doc file is most appropriate as they are easily readable on any computer

Store:

  • Keep your data somewhere safe, both secure and easily located (not on a flash drive in your desk!)
  • If possible, always keep multiple copies of your data, and remember to update them frequently

Preserve:

  • Know how long you need to keep your data, and plan accordingly
  • During the planning process, try to choose file types that are open source and widely supported

Sharing:

  • There are a number of good online research data repositories you can store and share a copy of your data with; it's collegial and good for reproducibility

Deleting:

  • Sometimes data must be deleted. Make sure you fully delete yours in compliance with any requirements you're under. Don't just put it in the trash, empty the trash too.
Accessibility | Proxy Logout