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Research Data Management

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Research Data Management (RDM) is the process of organizing and maintaining data throughout the research process.  It involves planning how data will be collected or created, analyzed, preserved, and shared. 

A sound data management strategy that is well-documented helps to improve project efficiencies and mitigates risks including loss, corruption, or unintentional disclosure of data.   

Creating a data management plan assists with compliance with current and future funding agency policies, as well as other legal, ethical, and legislative requirements while facilitating decision-making around long-term preservation and access to your data when the project ends. 

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Creating a data management plan 

Creating a data management plan (DMP) for each research project helps set out the parameters for how you will organize, store, share, and preserve your research data during each stage of the research project. Learn more about data management planning.

Documenting your work using metadata and classification schemes 

Creating documentation throughout your research project is an important component of the research process. At the very least, you will require the information to describe your research outputs in any future presentations or publications. In order to preserve your data in a repository or share your data with others, you will be expected to provide supplemental information such as citation information, an explanation of survey methodology, sampling information, question context and coding, how and why derived variables were created, and more. Learn more about how to document your work. 

Organizing your files 

Creating a strategy for how you will organize your project files throughout the research process is a fundamental element of your overall data management plan. You will need to consider: 

  • Directory structure
  • File naming
  • Versioning  

Preserving your data 

Choosing to preserve data in a secure, reliable environment enables researchers to comply with funder and publisher requirements. It mitigates future risk of lost or damaged files and provides discoverability through the use of descriptive metadata. See preserving your data for more information.

Sharing & reusing your data

Sharing data amongst researchers improves transparency, reduces redundancies and provides opportunities for accelerated research discoveries. Learn more about sharing and reusing your data.

Storage & security 

Plans for sharing and reusing data are an integral part of the RDM Planning process. 

Many funders as well as journal publishers have policies which encourage, expect, or require researchers to prepare and provide their data for sharing. This is particularly true of data produced through public funding. For more information, see storage and security. 

Research data management polices

Many funding agencies here and abroad now require the inclusion of a data management plan as part of the funding application process. Learn more about RDM policies.


Upcoming Workshops

We offer a variety of workshops to support your scholarship through the Open Scholarship workshop series.

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