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Research Data Management


Please notice that the guide is being updated during spring 2023.

Document your data at the very beginning of your research project!

  • make a note of all file names and formats associated with the project, how the data is organized, how the data was generated (including any equipment or software used), and information about how the data has been altered or processed.
  • include an explanation of codes, abbreviations, or variables used in the data or in the file naming structure.
  • keep notes about where you got the data so that you and others can find it.
  • keep notes about every choice and decision, that you have made: the reasons for leaving something away, the reasons for choosing certain classifications, the sampling principles, the ways you got your data subjects etc.

Careful documentation on the collecting or creating and processing of data is important to the quality of the data. The documentation is crucial to the long-term storage of your data. Good documentation - good metadata - is necessary for other researchers to find, understand, use and properly cite your data.

Metadata standards

Metadata standards are models for describing research material. Specific metadata standards have been developed for many fields of science and archives receiving research data often have a certain standard at their disposal. You can search for information on different metadata standards for example in the following guides and websites:

File naming

You should plan, how to give names to your files in the beginning of the project. The plan has to exact enough and cover all the needs during the whole project. The goals for planning are

  • to be able to see, what kind of information the files contain (human readable filenames)
  • to be able to sort and find your files by computer (computer readable filenames)
  • to be able to keep up all data in logical order

Guides and tools