Research Data Management
Managing research data can be a challenge. The Academic Data Centre in Leddy Library can provide support with all aspects of research data management, from writing a plan to implementing it to archiving data securely after the project completes.
All researchers are asked to seriously consider archiving their data to make it available for future researchers. In addition to being good practice this is increasingly becoming a requirement of funding agencies.
The first step towards managing your research data is developing an effective data management plan. In the past these tended to be done in a rather ad-hoc way. Now funding agencies are increasingly expecting that grant proposals will include a robust research data management plan. Contact Data Librarian Kristi Thompson to set up an appointment to discuss writing a data management plan. There are also some online tools to help you get started.
The University of Alberta has created the tool DMP Builder to help meet the anticipated Data Management Plan requirements of several Canadian funders, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The tool is free software and works similarly to a wizard: enter information about a project, and it produces output that with minimal tweaking is ready to be added to grant application forms.
DMPTool is a similar web application from the California Digital Library that is geared specifically towards meeting the requirements of several American funding agencies.
A good way to get started on learning about best practices in research data management is to take the MANTRA Research Data Management Training, a self-paced tutorial aimed at PhD students and early career researchers.
Specific needs will vary depending on your project.
We support data archiving through the Scholars Portal Dataverse network. Dataverse is a widely used, open source archiving solution developed at Harvard, and the Scholar's Portal implementation provides us with a trusted digital repository, hosted on Canadian servers, in a secure environment that conforms to industry best practices for maintaining data integrity and longevity.
Dataverse provides researchers with complete control over how data is disseminated; access to data and supporting documentation can be controlled down to the file level, and researchers can choose to make content available publicly, only to select individuals, or to keep it completely locked.
.Another option is to deposit data at ICPSR, a large and internationally known archive of social science data. ICPSR allows for wider dissemination of social science data, provides standardized citations, and collects bibliographic citations to publications that use deposited data, demonstrating the impact of their deposited datasets.
Contact the Academic Data Centre for information on either of these options.