Managing Your Data
Planning, managing, and maintaining data that is collected or created through research is a critical part of the research process. This guide provides an introduction to the key questions you need to answer about your data and links to other resources for more information and tips.
In this context, "data" is whatever information, specimen, or object collected or created by the researchers. Observed data, experimental results, textual analysis, physical materials, etc. Not just numbers!
Questions to Answer
It's never too early to start to think about the answers to these questions and incorporate them into the development of a research project. The answers may change over the course of your research.
1. What is your data?
- Quantitative, qualitative, spatial, text, video, physical object, ???
- Will the dataset(s) grow over time?
- What tools or software are needed to create & use the data?
2. How will you document and describe the data?
- Field names, data identifiers, metadata
- Naming conventions
3. Does the data need to be protected?
- Participant/human subject privacy
- Intellectual property
4. Will you share your data with others?
- Expectation of funding agency
- Open access
- Journal citation
5. How will you store and access the data over the short- and long-term?
- How long?
- What file formats?
- Hosting site?
Based on the Data Management 101 Planning Checklist (pdf), University of Minnesota Libraries
More Researcher Data Resources
Schmon Tower 1137
Maps, Data & GIS
Please feel free to contact anyone in Maps, Data & GIS; we want to hear from you:
General Inquiries: Maps & GIS
General Inquiries: Data
Evelyn Smith, Data Research Assistant
Phone: 905-688-5550 Ext. 4897
Sharon Janzen, Map Library Associate/Geospatial Data Coordinator
Phone: 905-688-5550 Ext. 5890