Research Data Management

Research Data Management#

The broader context#

Well thought out research data management and planning is an important part of the research process. Consideration as to how you intend to manage, share and publish your data should be thought about at the beginning of a research project.

Some reasons why research data management is important:
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Integrity Good research data and file management means data can be easily located and shared upon request. Integrity in your research findings is obtained through transparency, accessibility and verifiability of research data and processes.
Reproducibility Being able to reproduce the steps or processes undertaken during a research project is important for verifying your research outcomes. Documenting processes and findings as they occur helps reproduce the steps taken leading to research outcomes. Thinking about how you will document your research processes should form part of your research data management planning at the beginning of your research project. Some publishers and funders may have expectitations that you have access to and can produce the data that underpins your research. They may also require you to publish your data in an open access repository.
A time saver Often the person who wants to reuse your data is you. Being able to easily locate and reuse your data through good data and file management practice may save you time in the long run.
Compliance When conducting research you should always comply with the regulations and policies that govern research. The University of Melbourne is a signatory to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. All research conducted at or with the University should adhere to the regulations outlined within the code.

Some relevant University of Melbourne research policies

When developing a data management plan or considering best data management practice for you research project, the University research policies should also be reviewed and referenced.

University of Melbourne Research Data Management Policy
University of Melbourne Intellectual Property Policy
University of Melbourne Research Integrity and Misconduct Policy
University of Melbourne Records Management Policy

Research Data Management Planning
Research data management can be formalised into a plan. A data management plan (DMP), should outline the type of data you intend to collect and produce, how your data will be stored, if there will be any ownership or access rules associated with the data and how you may intend to publish, share and preserve your data.
A data management plan can help you meet data compliance requirements. Projects funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) are required to outline how data will be managed from the beginning of a research project. It is expected that ARC and NHMRC funded projects will align their data management practices with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Tools and resources supporting DMPs

Want to develop a data management plan but don’t know where to begin?
Below are some resources to help you learn more about best data management practice and planning.
Getting started with data
The University of Melbourne: DMP Melbourne
Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC): Data Management Plans
Australian Research Council (ARC): Research Data Management
Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
NHMRC: Management of Data and Information in Research

Compliance and data sharing as part of your DMP
It is important to consider and include data sharing and publishing as part of a data management plan. Data may need to be shared because of funder compliance or you may choose to share your data to increase the discoverability of your research, to reduce process repetition or for many other reasons. Considering where to share your data should be decided upon at the planning stage of your research project. You may choose to use a discipline specific repository, a generalist repository or an institutional repository. Here at the University of Melbourne we have an institutionally supported version of figshare. Melbourne Figshare allows researchers to share, publish and manage their data in a FAIR, citable and discoverable way.

Melbourne Figshare
How to write a Data Management Plan (DMP) and include Figshare in your data sharing plans

It is also good to consider reasons why data should not be shared in the public domain. This information can also be included in your DMP. Some reasons to not share data may include data that contains private or sensitive information, data that if released could cause harm to project participants or the research group or there may be a contractual agreement in place preventing you from sharing the data.

Memory Game#

Match the cards to learn about the type of information that should be included in a data management plan.