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Data 101: Managing Data

In this LibGuide, we introduce you to the wide world of data, including data types (qualitative, quantitative, ethnographic, geospatial, etc.), finding data, visualizing data, and managing data.

Research data management (RDM) is the process of creating organized, documented, accessible, and reusable research 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. RDM helps improve research workflows to make them more resilient, efficient, maintainable, and reproducible.

RDM is research self care! 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 RDM 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!

Research Data Management at CMU Libraries

Did you know that at CMU Libraries, we have several folks who have been professionally trained in RDM education and support across each academic discipline? From writing data management plans, to helping set up an RDM protocol for a lab, we can help you develop strategies for managing your data, no matter what your data looks like.

Free Self-Paced, Online Courses for Data Management

Additional Resources

The world of research data management is growing, and it with comes a plethora of great resources. Here's a few to get started: 

Wanting resources tailored to your own research and/or data needs? Contact Hannah Gunderman to schedule an email, in-person, Zoom, or telephone consultation!

Why Manage Data?

Taking the extra time now to manage your data will save you an immense amount of time later on in your research. 

  • Meet grant requirements of funding bodies, who often require data management plans
  • 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 Management Horror Stories

Helpful Resources at CMU Libraries

Credits and Acknowledgements

A special thank you to Sue Collins (, Senior Librarian and Liaison for Engineering & Public Policy and History, for creating many of the original sections and structures on which this LibGuide is based on and evolved from. 

Banner image courtesy of Maarten van den Heuvel of Unsplash, found here: Design made in Canva.