Thanks to Heather Jenkins at ANU for creating a guide on Data Management and sharing its contents as a basis for this guide.
Why Do You Need to Manage Your Data?
- Improvements to efficiency - managing data at the last minute and using the first method that comes to mind is usually time-consuming and error-prone.
- Protection - loss of data can be a disaster.
- Quality - data that is carefully managed has a much greater likelihood of being quality data.
- Exposure - data is now recognised as a scholarly output and good data management maximises the impact of your work, increasing the visibility of your research and extending its relevance; data citation standards are at a critical stage with the general acceptance of the use of DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers).
- Basic data management is required by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and compliance with the Code is already a requirement for ARC and NHMRC funding and is likely to be mandated by other funding bodies, government and institutions in the near future
Australian National Data Services (ANDS) Definition
ANDS has intentionally left the definition of research data open to be as inclusive as possible. Research Data Australia accepts records of data that are considered to be important to the Australian research community, rather than to an established definition of what constitutes research data.
Generally speaking, however, ANDS does not encourage information concerning journal articles and monographs. This is because they are generally well-described elsewhere and available either through commercial publishers or open access. ANDS is, however, keenly interested in these as ‘related information’ for research data.
The ANDS business plan says, ‘Research publications are not included within the scope of ANDS but files, images, tables, databases, models, computer outputs, and similar digital representations are included’.
Even within this example, if a collection of text can be used as input to research (for text mining, information retrieval, etc) then it is definitely in scope for Research Data Australia. Similarly, there may be instances where published print material has been integrated into a collection of unpublished items, is integral to the understanding of other collection materials, or is part of a collection where significant value has been added to the collection through markup and hyperlinks. In these cases, these would be accepted into Research Data Australia.
A Data Management Horror Story
This is a mini series of Youtubes by NYU Health Sciences Libraries showing what shouldn't happen when a researcher makes a data sharing request.