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Study Skills

Research Resolutions: refreshing your research landscape

Week 3: Get your data management sorted

Everyone generates research data. Everyone. Whether you're working on a subject that involves lots of tech and spreadsheets, or you're doing fieldwork with a battered notebook and physical artefacts, you're generating data. As we discuss in the above video, data can manifest in many different forms but the commonality across all of those forms is that you really need to look after it. Data underpins findings, conclusions, discussions, and eventually communication of all of the work that you've been doing whether in a lab, a library, or your spare room.

And because data and research can be so varied, we've mentioned different services and resources that you can use to go further than this short introduction. So if you want to see what cloud storage options the University Information Services (UIS) support, they have a great list. They also have something called a Security Guidance document which essentially tells you what you can and can't store in the cloud, depending on what service you're using. For lots of help and advice, the Office of Scholarly Communication's Research Data Management website is a great place to go too.

This Week's task

As we've covered a lot this week, we wanted to give you the opportunity to reflect on your own data needs and what you might be generating as part of your research. You might have already started or you're about to start. Either way, our interactive activity below will ask you a series of questions to help you start the first steps towards developing a data management plan. As always, you'll have the chance to email your answers to yourself so you can keep a copy to refer back to and build on as your develop in your research.

If the activity does not load, you can access it directly through the LibWizard website

Help and support

If you have any questions or want to speak to someone about this topic in more detail, email the Biological Sciences Libraries Team and we will be able to chat with you about your data management needs.

Further reading

The Office of Scholarly Communication has some excellent resources on how to get started with a data management plan that goes into even more detail than we have with this Week's tasks and video. They have also produced a more detailed training module looking at RDM

Good research data management also means that you can work reproducibly, but what does this mean and why should it matter? Dr Florian Markowetz has a great write up about selfish reasons to work reproducibly. It's also available as a talk if you want to hear him deliver his thoughts in person!

Do you just want to have a quick idea about what a typical data management lifecycle might look like? The UK Data Service has a speedy video that covers the basics.