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Research Data Management

Guidance on research data management planning, creating data management plans (DMPs), and other resources

Tips for Filing & Organizing Data

1. Capture something about the place, time, and theme of your data will help you identify which file you want.

2. Use a file name as short as possible yet still descriptive. This will make it easier when you use scripted file processing.

3. Do not use blank spaces in your file names. Use the underscore "_" or use "CamelCaps" where you run all words together and capitalize each word.

4. Consider placing data files in a separate space from your computer's operating system. This can be an external hard drive, server space, or a separate partition on a hard drive.

File Name Examples:

Bad: Year1 or Summer07

Good: CorvallisVegBio2007

5. Consider appending a version number (eg. v1) to the end of the file name.

Why Manage Your Data?

Reasons for managing, preserving, and sharing your data include:

  1. Your funding agency may require that you manage and share your data. Some may require that you archive your research data in a repository for long-term preservation and access.
  2. Your grant proposal will be more competitive if you can demonstrate that you manage, preserve, and share your data.
  3. Making your data available to others ensures that your research is truly reproducible.
  4. Managing your research data saves you time because it ensures that you and others in your collaboration will be able to find, understand, and use the data.
  5. When you manage your data throughout the life of your research, the data can be more readily shared and reused by others.
  6. Sharing your research data enables wider dissemination of your work.
  7. Your article may be cited more often if the data underlying the article are freely accessible.
  8. By sharing your data you are supporting Open Access and helping to foster the creation of new knowledge, by allowing others to freely use and build upon your work.
  9. If you properly care for your original and unique research data, they can be used as a teaching resource, enriching your instruction and preparing your students to be world class researchers.
  10. Enabling others to use your data reinforces open scientific inquiry and can lead to new and unanticipated discoveries.

This list was compiled by Lizzy Rolando (Research Data Librarian at Georgia Tech) and Jennifer Doty (Data Management Specialist at Emory University).

Data Licensing

  • Creative Commons is a website devoted to educational access and expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share by providing different licenses and public domain tools that ensure the public has a free, simple, and standardized way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works.
  • Open Data Commons is another website hosted by the Open Knowledge Foundation that provides legal tools to help license data.

Every license helps creators retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work non-commercially. Every Creative Commons license also ensures licensors get the credit for their work. All licenses work around the world and last as long as applicable copyright last. These common features serve as the baseline, on top of which creators can choose to grant additional permissions when deciding how they want their work to be used.

A  licensor must answer a few simple questions on the path to choosing a license:

  • Do I want to allow commercial use or not? 
  • Do I want to allow derivative works or not?

Licenses do not affect freedoms that the law grants to users of creative works otherwise protected by copyright, such as exceptions and limitations to copyright law like fair dealing. Creative Commons licenses require licensees to get permission to do any of the things with a work that the law reserves exclusively to a licensor and that the license does not expressly allow. Work with a license that is used must credit the original licensor, keep copyright notices intact on all copies of the work, and link to the license from copies of the new work. They cannot use technological measures to restrict access to the work by others.

  • Attribution License (CC BY): This license lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. 
  • Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA): This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. 
  • Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND): This license lets others reuse the work for any purpose, including commercially; however, it cannot be shared with others in adapted form, and credit must be provided to you.
  • Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC): This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.
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