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Data Management: Overview

Information and resources pertaining to research data management.

Why Manage Your Data?

3 Reasons why managing your data is important:

  1. Save Time:​
    • Properly managed data is more quickly and easily found when needed in the course of your research.
    • Many data sets can only be collected once. Managing your data can help prevent loss of the entire experiment through human error, machine error or natural disaster.
  2. Meet Funder and Journal Requirements:
    • Many funders require specific data management practices.
    • Journals are starting to require that researchers make accessible the data underlying their results.
  3. Facilitate New Discoveries:
    • Well organized and openly shared data is more likely to be cited and re-used by future researchers.

Data Management Basics

Basic Steps for Managing Your Data

  1. Back up your data
    • Have at least three current copies of your data.
    • The different copies should be on different types of hardware.
    • If possible have one copy in the cloud.
  2. Document your data
    • Describe the experiment
    • Carefully document the equipment, the settings, protocols and procedures used to gather the data. Make sure to record any deviations in the set up.
    • Write out how data was transformed from raw to derivative form.
    • If the data was cleaned at any point, explain how.
  3. Use non-proprietary data formats
  4. Organize your data and use version control

Digital Archivist/Assistant Professor

Erin Baucom's picture
Erin Baucom
Contact:
Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
Missoula, MT 59812
406-243-4036