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Research Methods Information: Data Management

A comprehensive resource for faculty and students who are teaching and conducting research.

Data Management

What is Data Management

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What is Data Management?

"Data management is the process involved in creating, obtaining, transforming, sharing, protecting, documenting and preserving data." [Source]

Why is it important to manage your data?

  • Organization of your data will make it easier to locate what you need.
  • When working with a group on the same data set, it makes it easier for everyone to locate the information.
  • It's necessary if you want to receive a federal funding grant.

Digital Research Data Lifecycle

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Digital Research Data LifeCycle by Amanda Tarbet is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Data Management Plan Resources

documents in binder

What is a Data Management Plan?

A data management plan (DMP) is a formal document that describes in detail how you will manage, analyze, and store your data both during your research, and after the project is completed. 

The usual components of a Data Management Plan (DMP) include:

  • Description of the project and the data to be collected.
  • What documentation will be used.
  • What file formats and file naming conventions will be used.
  • Plans for short-term storage and data management.
  • Legal and ethical issues.
  • Software and hardware accommodations for the data.
  • Access and sharing policies including which persons are responsible for which parts of the project.
  • Long-term archiving and preservation details.

Required steps for a DMP:

  1. Describe your data.
  2. Organize your data.
  3. Document your data.
  4. Protect your data.
  5. Store your data.

DMP Tools and Templates

Selected Books on Data Management

Selected Books in the APUS Library

Data Management Web Resources


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Research Data MANTRA is a free, UK-based, non-assessed course with guidelines to help you understand and reflect on how to manage the data you collect throughout your research. The course is particularly appropriate for those who work with digital data.

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Research Data Managment (LibGuide) is an introduction to research data management, including benefits and obligations.  This extensive Library Guide is curated by the Curtin University Library of West Perth, Australia.

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Writing a Data Management Plan provides table of questions that can help you to begin to think about how you will manage your data and the answers will be useful for developing the content of a data management plan.

Best Practices in Data Management provides a list of practices that are fundamental to effective data management and can be applied to all disciplines.

Data Storage

data storage archive

What is Data Storage?

Data storage refers to how and where the data is stored. It is important to consider the size of your data set when considering where to store it, as well as how much memory your computer has. Data can be stored on a hard drive or through a cloud device. When deciding how to store your data, also consider the security of your data.

Data Repositories

A repository is a space within which an item(s) are stored.  A data repository is a space where data is stored.  Depositing your data into a repository enables the datasets to be stored for long-term use.