Why manage research data?

Saves time:

Working on the “stitch in time” principle, doing the work now to plan for your expected data, back them up, and document them in detail preserves time otherwise lost in searching for, recovering, and deciphering data in the future.

Simplifies your life:

Managing your data, from adopting an organization scheme to developing a description standard to creating a preservation plan, avoids confusion and turmoil in the future.

Increases research efficiency:

With all the time you’ve saved and the confusion you’ve avoided, you can’t help but be more efficient! Additionally, managing your data means that in the future you will be able to more easily find, access, understand, and use your data.

Ensures research integrity:

The R’s of research: repeatable, reproducible, reusable, replicable – Good research data management makes it more feasible to fulfill these commitments of responsible research.

Makes it easier to share:

Have you ever had a hard time understanding the data that your colleagues have collected? Don’t be that colleague! Documenting your data throughout its life cycle makes it easier for you to share and others to understand and use your data in the future.

It’s required:

Many funding agencies now require that researchers deposit in an archive data which they collect as part of a research project.

Adapted from: MIT & UCLA

Also, to avoid this:

“If the data you need still exists;
If you found the data you need;
If you understand the data you found;
If you trust the data you understand;
If you can use the data you trust;
Someone did a good job of data management.”
-Rex Sanders
“…[A] major benefit for contributors [to a data archive is that they] will always be able to find and copy their previously submitted files from the long-term archive.” — Big opportunities in access to “small science” data. Onsrud, Harlan and James Campbell. Data Science Journal, Volume 6, Open Data Issue, 17 June 2007, p.7
“Publicly available data was significantly (p = 0.006) associated with a 69% increase in citations, independently of journal impact factor, date of publication, and author country of origin using linear regression.” — Sharing Detailed Research Data Is Associated with Increased Citation Rate. Piwowar HA, Day RS, Fridsma DB (2007) PLoS ONE 2(3): e308. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0000308