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Research data: Get going

RDM Support site

Information on facilities and services for research data management within Utrecht University can be found at the RDM Support site.

What is research data?

Research data is data collected or generated during research. It is used as a basis for analyses. Research data comes in different forms (measurement data, pictures, geographical data, models, chromatograms, surveys).

Research data is valuable and managing it well is worth your while.

Where can you find research data

Aside from the various data centers, you will find Dutch research data via NARCIS. This portal gives access to thousands of scientific datasets and e-publications in the Netherlands.

Many datasets can also be found via Google and other search engines on the internet.

An increasing number of online scientific journals offer persistent links to corresponding datasets.

Re3data.orgOn the re3data.org site you can find well documented, online repositories containing data. These have been evaluated by re3data.org on several points.

Pubmed offers a possibility to retrieve datasets relevant to the articles found in a literature search. Use the 'find related data' button.

Uopen publications

Utrecht University Library publishing service Uopen Journals is going to alert authors to the possibility of accommodating their datasets in DataverseNL. The journal article will be provided with a persistent link (a so called persistent identifier) to the datasets going with the article.

Why the current interest in research data?

There are several reasons why research data is in the public eye. Publication pressure raises issues of scientific integrity; data can confirm validity of results. However, and most importantly, data is valuable and contains potentially new and reusable information. Research is increasingly becoming data driven. Metrics for data-citation are being developed in order for data to have scientific impact, which is to the advantage of researchers.

If research data needs to be available and usable (!) it  helps a lot if data is well-managed right from the start of a project. A data management plan can help you manage your data and make storage and/or sharing less cumbersome.

data to knowledge

Data Management Plan

The Data Life Cycle, afbeelding van University of WarwickA Data Management Plan (DMP) helps you map all aspects of data management during the course of a research project. It helps you plan and estimate the costs of your reseach. But it also helps you to

  • make your research reproducable / verifiable
  • make your research findable / reusable
  • link your research data to your publications
  • comply with research funders' requirements

There are several tools for making a data management plan.

The library offers support to make and fill in data management plans. Ask your library contact person for the possibilities.

Archive and share research data

Because you have to: 

  • Making replication research possible is an important part of academic integrity.
  • Juridical interest: to comply with journals' or research funders' requirements to preserve and publish data.

Because it offers advantages:

  • There is a potential for new information and knowledge in research data, it would be a shame to waste it.
  • Storing and sharing research data enhances the visibility/profile of scientific research and the scientist.
  • Sharing enables reuse of the original data for new research and in education, either in combination with other (new or old) sets of data, or not.

 

Store data

Archive and share; those are two things

There is a difference between archiving data (storing it safely) and sharing data. Save and durable storage is preferably done in more copies on sites where backups are regularly made and checks are performed on bit rot. Sharing data is done on a site that is accessible for many researchers and which is a logical place for a researcher to look for a dataset, such as a public repository. Sharing data can also be done by referring to the data by means of a persistent link ('persistent identifier'), on a prominent place in a publication or website.

Sharing data does not neccesarily mean immediately nor completely without restrictions. Research data can also be made available under embargo, to be shared only after a specific time. Or data can be made available on a non-public site, where access is granted on request. In this way there is more insight on who uses the data and how. The licence on the data defines who is allowed to do what with the data.

Where can you preserve and share your research data

Whatever public repository you choose, ensure that it has a quality mark (such as the 'data seal of approval') and that the data recieves a persistent identifier for permanent referral to the data.

DANSDo you wish to keep your data available permanently? Then the online archiving system EASY offered by DANS is a good option.

DDNDo you, as group or project, wish to keep your data together, manage it and keep complete control on who has access to it? Opt for DataverseNL. A Dataverse can be applied for through the library.

DryadResearch data associated with scientific publications can be stored in DRYAD; various academic journals facilitate this.

There are discipline-specific and even datatype-specific repositories to upload your data to. re3data.org helps you to find a suitable repository.

 

The following options are also available:

  • Data journals offer a peer-reviewed platform to formally publish research data.
  • You can share your (preliminary) results in a Virtual Knowledge Center VKC.

News on open data

Chasing down data: How do you extract data from other researchers? Article in Science Careers.

Data integrity: "Lies, Damned Lies and Research Data: Can Data Sharing Prevent Data Fraud?"

Research receives more citations when data is available in a public repository ("Data reuse and the open data citation advantage")

Closed Data… Excuses, Excuses. Blogpost by Carly Strasser at California Digital Library about reasons people give for not sharing or making accessible their data.