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Plant Pathology: Managing Your Data

Research Lifecycle

Responsible Conduct of Research

Keep these three guidelines handy! 

Guidelines for Best Practices in Image Processing

Tools for Data Management

Understanding Data Management

Why manage data?

  • to preserve the integrity of the research
  • to allow reuse by others
  • to reduce risk of data loss

Why make data discoverable?

  • to enable work to be reproduced
  • to establish credibility and to hold trust
  • to enable faster progress in research, within or across disciplines
  • to meet requirements of funders, journal publishers, etc.

Why reuse data?

  • to verify research claims
  • to permit new discoveries from exisitng data
  • to foster integration of data sets for new analysis
  • to reduce duplication of effort

Data Management Plan - outline

A successful Data Management Plan (DMP) answers these questions:

Creating your data

  • What types of data will be produced for your project?
  • What identifiers will you use for your data?
  • How will you document your data?
  • How much data will the project produce?
  • How often will the data change or be updated, and will versions need to be tracked?

Organizing your data

  • What file formats will be produced for your project and what kinds of data management risks do they present?
  • How will you organize your files into directories and what naming conventions will you apply to both?
  • Have you included project and data documentation?

Managing your data

  • Who is responsible for managing and controlling the data?
  • For what or whom are the data intended?
  • How long must the data be retained?
  • How secure are the data? Do you have a procedure for backing up the data?

Sharing your data

  • Does project funding require your data to be shared or publicly accessible?
  • When and where do you intend to publish or distribute your data?
  • How should your data be cited?
  • Are there issues with privacy or intellectual property?

Managing your lab notebook

Why keep a lab notebook?

  • To have a complete record of the work you have done and to maintain your rights to your findings.  Keep all your procedures, data, and comments in one place.
  • To prove that you did the work, and on what date -- especially if your work is novel, article-worthy, or potentially patentable.
  • To leave a trail for someone who may be interested in completing your work.
  • To serve multiple audiences: yourself, your colleagues, your funding sources.

Best practices:

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