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Planning your data management

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The key to successfully managing data is to plan ahead. At the start, or even better before the project begins, it is wise to fully consider all the issues that may arise in managing and sharing your research data. Using a checklist and/or writing a Data Management Plan (DMP) will help you do this.

This workshop identifies some of the key issues to consider and plan for in managing (and sharing) research data.

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Planning your data management

  1. 1. Planning your data management for That Figures: Statistics Week Lindsey Myers Research Support Librarian Library Research Support Team Spring Term 2018 Information Services
  2. 2. What is data?
  3. 3. Definitions of research data University “2.1 Recorded material, irrespective of format or media, commonly retained and accepted in the academic community as being necessary to validate research findings. Created in the course of the research process, research data will be the recorded facts, observations, measurements, computations, statistics and results that underpin the research paper and grant or project outcomes.” University RDM Policy www.york.ac.uk/rdm-policy
  4. 4. What is data? All the information you use as an integral part of your research
  5. 5. Your research data Group discussion • What data will you produce during the course of your project? • How will you collect or create the data? What methods/standards will you use for data creation? • If pre-existing data is being used, where will it come from? How will it be used? • How much data do you expect to generate? Record information about your research data (Q1a and Q1c) on the DMP template provided.
  6. 6. What is research data management?
  7. 7. Research data management is … A general term covering how you organize, structure, store, and care for the information used or generated during a research project
  8. 8. Research data management is … How you look after information on a day-to-day basis over the lifetime of a project What happens to data in the longer term - what you do with it after the project concludes Good research practice: • organising your data • storing and backing up your data • choosing the right file formats • creating documentation for your data
  9. 9. Research data management is … How you look after information on a day-to-day basis over the lifetime of a project What happens to data in the longer term - what you do with it after the project concludes • What data do you need to keep (and share)? • What data must not be kept (and shared)? • Where are you going to archive your (selected) data for long-term storage/access?
  10. 10. Why manage your research data?
  11. 11. Carrots and sticks Carrots - the benefits Sticks - requirements • Work efficiently and with minimum hassle over the lifetime of the project • Save time and avoid problems in the future • Make it easy to share your data
  12. 12. Carrots and sticks Carrots - the benefits Sticks - requirements • University of York Research Data Management Policy www.york.ac.uk/rdm-policy • Funding body requirements
  13. 13. University requires … Good management of research data over the lifetime of your project Selected research data to be preserved (for a min of 10 years) and shared at the end of the your project Research data must be: • accurate, complete, authentic and reliable • identifiable, retrievable and available when needed • kept safe and secure, avoiding data loss • kept in a manner that is compliant with legal and ethical obligations, and (if applicable) funder requirements • disposed of securely.
  14. 14. University requires … Good management of research data over the lifetime of your project Selected research data be preserved (for a min of 10 years) and shared at the end of the your project Sharing of research data: a. of long-term value b. underpinning published results where there are no legal, ethical or commercial constraints that would prohibit sharing.
  15. 15. Funder requirements Research Councils UK “Publicly funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest, which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner that does not harm intellectual property. Data with acknowledged long term value should be preserved and remain accessible and usable for future research.” RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/datapolicy
  16. 16. To success in data management … Plan for your data management
  17. 17. Data management plans Create a Data Management Plan (DMP) Tools: • DMPonline • York DMP template A formal document which outlines all aspects of your data management, i.e. what you will do with data during and after your research project ends. To include: • Description of the data to be collected/created • Standards/methodologies for data collection and management • Ethics and Intellectual Property concerns or restrictions • Plans for data sharing and access • Strategy for long-term preservation
  18. 18. Data management plans Create a Data Management Plan (DMP) Tools DMPonline https://dmponline.dcc.ac.uk An online tool, created by the Digital Curation Centre, which is designed to help you create personalised data management plans according to the requirements stipulated by the major UK funders. York DMP template for postgraduate research projects www.york.ac.uk/library/info- for/researchers/data/planning
  19. 19. Day-to-day data management Storing your data (keeping your data safe) Data Management Plan 2a. Where will you store your data? 2b. How will you back-up your data? 2c. Who else has a right to see or use the data during the project?
  20. 20. http://blogs.ch.cam.ac.uk/pmr/2011/08/01/why-you-need-a-data-management-plan
  21. 21. Where are you going to store your data? a. USB Stick b. University filestore H:/M: drive c. Your working machine laptop/PC/external hard drive d. University (york.ac.uk) Google Drive
  22. 22. Not here a. USB Stick c. Your working machine laptop/PC/external hard drive back up
  23. 23. Recommended to store your data on … b. University filestore H:/M: drive or d. University (york.ac.uk) Google Drive
  24. 24. Day-to-day data management Organising your data (good file management) Data Management Plan 2d. How will you structure and name your folders? 2e. How will you name your files? 2f. How will you manage different versions of your files?
  25. 25. How not to do it Can you spot any problems with how these files and directories are named?
  26. 26. This would be better... • Use directories to help categorise data • Make use of the folder hierarchy
  27. 27. Version control … can get messy Can you spot any problems with how these files are named?
  28. 28. Version control … can get messy Can you spot any problems with how these files are named?
  29. 29. File and folder names File names should be • concise & meaningful • descriptive • consistent Also think about ... • How you want your files to order • Using standard alphanumeric characters – avoid punctuation, spaces etc. • Lower/upper/proper case Happiness is: “knowing what your file is before you double click on it”
  30. 30. Day-to-day data management Choosing the right file formats Data Management Plan 1b. What formats and what software will you use?
  31. 31. File formats During your research After your research File formats that … • you can work with collect/create/analyse etc. • can depend on hardware and software • fits with your research methodology and workflows
  32. 32. File formats During your research After your research File formats that are … • are easier to share and re- use • may last longer into the future – open specifications – widely used formats – Uncompressed – ASCII formats – exchange formats
  33. 33. File formats During your research After your research File formats that are … • are easier to share and re- use • may last longer into the future – open specifications – widely used formats – Uncompressed – ASCII formats – exchange formats Does the software you are using have an option to export into a more suitable format for sharing or long term reuse?
  34. 34. Your file formats Group discussion. Refer back to the research data you listed for Q1a. on your DMP and consider: Q1b. • What file formats will you use to collect, create and analyse your data? • What file formats will you use to share your data and keep it for the longer term? You have … 5 minutes
  35. 35. Day-to-day data management Documentation & metadata (describing your data) Data Management Plan 2g. What additional information will be required to understand your data?
  36. 36. Documentation and metadata What is it? Why do you need it? What to include? Documentation is the contextual information required to make data intelligible and aid interpretation • A users’ guide to your data Metadata is similar, but usually more structured • can conform to set standards • sometimes machine readable
  37. 37. Documentation and metadata What is it? Why do you need it? What to include? • So you can understand it • So other people can understand it • So your findings are verifiable • So others understand your methodology • So others can repeat your methods • To make your data reusable
  38. 38. Documentation Group discussion. Look at the sample data sheet and imagine you have just downloaded it from an archive. Consider:: • What contextual or explanatory information is missing? - anything odd about the data that needs clarifying? • What additional documentation would you like to see supplied? - about specific items of information recorded here - about the data collection as a whole You have … 5 minutes, then feedback
  39. 39. Documentation and metadata What is it? Why do you need it? What to include? "The single most useful thing you can do to ensure the long-term preservation of your data is to plan for it to be re-used. Imagining it being reused by someone else who has never met you and who never will meet you, will cause you to approach the creation and design of your data in a new light. ..... In short, always plan for re-use" Professor Julian D. Richards, Director, of the Archaeology Data Service, University of York
  40. 40. Documentation and metadata What is it? Why do you need it? What to include? • Who created it, when and why • Description of the item • Methodology and methods • Units of measurement • Definitions of jargon, acronyms and code • References to related data
  41. 41. What will happen to research data at the end of your project? Data Management Plan 3a. What data should be kept or destroyed after the end of your project? 3b. For how long should data be kept after the end of your project? 3c. Where will the data you keep be stored at the end of the project? 3d. When will you archive your data? 4a. What data should or shouldn’t be shared openly and why? 4b. Who should have access to the final dataset(s) and under what conditions? 4c. How will you share your final dataset(s)?
  42. 42. Keeping selected data Data appraisal for your project Why not keep everything? PrePARe checklist http://find.jorum.ac.uk/resources/10949/17171
  43. 43. Keeping selected data Data appraisal for your project Why not keep everything? Before your project ends … • What data should you keep (and share)? University Policy, funder and publisher requirements • What data must not be kept (and shared)? for ethical, legal or commercial reasons www.york.ac.uk/library/info-for/researchers/data/sharing
  44. 44. Mechanisms for retaining (and sharing) research data Deposit your selected data with an external service Transfer your selected data to the University Research Data York service • a funder data archive /repository • a subject data archive/ repository • a publisher data archive /repository www.re3data.org to identify a suitable data archive or repository for your data + Record the dataset in PURE www.york.ac.uk/library/info-for/researchers /data/guidance/pure-datasets
  45. 45. Mechanisms for retaining (and sharing) research data Deposit your selected data with an external service Transfer your selected data to the University Research Data York service • We’ll need some descriptive metadata (PURE) • We will store and manage access to your data for a minimum of 10 years – a CC-BY licence is applied to open data – data with restricted access. Depositing your data www.york.ac.uk/library/info- for/researchers/data/sharing/#tab-4
  46. 46. Questions?
  47. 47. A data management horror story Video by NYU Health Sciences Libraries https://youtu.be/N2zK3sAtr-4 Highlights the things that can go wrong if you don’t manage and share your data well.
  48. 48. Help Further information and resources • RDM web pages www.york.ac.uk/rdm • RDM workshop book a place through SkillsForge • Research Support Team lib-research-support@York.ac.uk • IT Support Office itsupport@york.ac.uk

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