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Data Management for Research

Research Data Management

Data management is the process of creating organized, documented, accessible, and reusable research data. Simply put, it's taking care of your data! It helps with research organization and comprehensibility, making onboarding to projects easier and allowing for ease in communicating research results to colleagues and the public. Research data management helps improve research workflows to make them more resilient, efficient, maintainable, and reproducible.

Data management can be self-care for you and your research! The actions taken today to organize your research data will help future you feel more in control of your research project, and make it easier to share your results with others. While it is good to implement data management techniques as early as you can in your research, we understand that there may be many barriers to doing so, including a lack of extra time to devote to it. We're here to help no matter what stage you are at!

Taking the extra time now to manage your data may save you time later on in your research, along with the following benefits:

  • Meet requirements of funding agencies, who often require data management plans when applying for grants
  • Ensure research integrity and replication 
  • Ensure your research data and records are accurate, complete, authentic, and reliable
  • Increase your own research efficiency - the less time you have to spend cleaning up data messes and deciphering your data, the more time you have to boost your own research agenda!
  • Save time and resources in the long run
  • Enhance data security and minimize the risk of data loss
  • Prevent duplication of effort by enabling others to use your data
  • Comply with practices conducted in industry and commerce

Research Data Lifecycle, from designing a project to archiving and reusing data

Data management across the research lifecycle

Data management should happen at all stages of your research project! From the beginning stages of designing and planning your research, to collecting and analyzing your data, to publishing and archiving your data, and even when reusing your data! The sooner you start to think about data management in your project, the better - but, we understand why it might not be the most exciting thing to spend time on. We at CMU Libraries are here to help you develop good data management practices so you can spend more time on the fun parts of your research, such as collecting data and creating visualizations!

Research data management support at CMU Libraries

Grant Support

Pre-proposal consultation for writing Data Management Plans (DMPs)
Customized strategies for data management planning & implementation
Support for DMPTool, with templates for specific funding agencies & a standard DMP template for CMU
Up-to-date information on funding agency requirements for data

Operational Data Management Support

Recommended practices for organizing, describing, sharing, publishing, & preserving data
Standards for file naming, metadata, storage, security, & documentation
Data management needs assessment
Consultations for research data management practices
Data management planning for projects or publications

Education & Outreach

Data literacy education for students & research groups
Advice on lab protocols to ensure continuity in the research group
Educational resources & customized training in partnership with other CMU resources
Collaboration with faculty as active grant participants on research projects & workshops

Data Sharing & Reuse

Options for sharing & publishing research data and meeting funder requirements
Resources for data repositories in your discipline
Advice on data formats and metadata that meet repository requirements
Guidance on copyright & licensing for your research data & publications