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Data Management for Research

This guide presents information on the effective management of data created through research — including creating a data management plan for grant or project proposals, preserving data after project completion and sharing data with other researchers.

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UMSL GUIDE TO DATA MANAGEMENT

This guide presents information on the effective management of data created through research — including creating a data management plan for grant or project proposals, preserving data after project completion and sharing data with other researchers.

Introduction to DMPTool.org

The Data Management Planning Tool

DMPTool is a service provided by the library to all researchers on on campus. The tool allows a researcher to create, review, and share data management plans that meet the needs of your research funders and our institution. DMPTool is customized to our campus and provides detailed templates for 100's of different funding agencies. 

  • Free and open to all campus researchers.

  • UMSL users can log in using their Shibboleth / SSO ID and password.

  • Guides you through the process of creating a data management plan to meet funder requirements.

  • Provides links to funder information, suggested answers, and data management resources.

To access the tool click the DMPTool logo or visit: http://dmptool.org/.

What is Research Data

Research data is any systematic collection of information that is used by researchers for analysis.  Typical examples of data include: 

  • Observational data: data captured in real-time, usually irreplaceable
    Examples: Sensor data, telemetry, survey data, sample data, neuroimages
  • Experimental data: data from lab equipment, often reproducible, but can be expensive
    Examples: gene sequences, chromatograms, toroid magnetic field data
  • Simulation data: data generated from test models where model and metadata (inputs) are more important than output data. 
    Examples: climate models, economic models
  • Derived or compiled data: data that is reproducible (but very expensive)
    Examples: text and data mining, compiled database, 3D models, data gathered from public documents
     

Research data can also include video, sound, or text data, as long as it is used for systematic analysis.  For example,  a collection of video interviews use to gather and identify gesture and facial expressions in a study of emotional responses to stimuli would be considered research data.

All research data must be appropriately structured and documented in order for it to be used effectively for analysis.  Additionally, any unique programs or models needed to analyze the data should also be preserved.

Why Manage Research Data

  • Protect your data from loss by maintaining good backups and documentatio

  • Secure your data through effective management of sensitive data

  • Conduct research efficiently by analyzing your data practices

  • Simplify the use and reuse of your data through proper documentation and application of standards

  • Increase your research visibility by publishing your datasets and documentation

  • Meet funding agency, legal and ethical requirements for dissemination and documentation of your research

  • Preserve and provide access to your data in the long term, allowing future scholars to build on your work