The creation, curation and use of data is not a new discipline. The expansion of e-science, new research tools, data mandates and data sharing goals pose new challenges for researchers and institutions. The goal of this guide is to provide tools for various stages of the data lifecycle as well as an overview of current practices and resources.
The definition of data is largely field-dependent and may derive from observation, experimentation, simulation or compilation. Stages of research data include raw, processed and published. Raw data is information that has been collected but has not been analyzed. Processed data is typically information that is stored on a computer. The information is organized in a presentable way so that conclusions and findings are easily understood. Published data allows for your research to be seen and shared with others. Data formats range from text to numeric to multimedia to discipline specific.
Quick tips to keep your data under control
1. Familiarize yourself with copyright and legal issues pertaining to data collecting and sharing.
2. Know the funding requirements of agencies you are submitting proposals too.
3. Keep your data securely stored in more than one, non-proprietary format.
4. Have a plan in place to organize your information and outline a procedure to follow with each new research project.