Data Management

Tools, tips and checklists for creating a data management plan and managing data you generate

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Goals of This Guide

Use this guide to:

  • Discover what successful data management entails, and the different components involved
  • Locate appropriate resources that can help ensure your data will be readable and understandable in the future
  • Learn what a data management plan is and how to go about building one

Best Practices of Data Management

Having Good Data Management Practices Means...

*Taking stock of your data and creating some type of data management plan (DMP)

*Deciding how you will share your data with other researchers

*Deciding how you will document your datanot lose your data

and finally:

*Asking for help (See the WPI resources listed below!)

What is considered data?

The definition of data can be broad or narrow, depending on your purposes. Data are distinct pieces of information, perhaps collected for the purpose of analysis.

  • Research data can be defined as "the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings" (OMB Circular 110).
  • What is considered data for your research might depend on your source of funding, but data management can apply to all distinct pieces of information used in your research, whether those are in the form of lab notes, transcripts, algorithms, methodologies, database contents, or any number of other possible types or formats. NC State University and Boston University both have expanded definitions that you might want to look at to get a better idea of what the term 'data' might encompass.

Data Management Resources at WPI


*Note: both the ATC TTL and the IT Helpdesk are located on the main floor of the library.