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Social Policy and Intervention: Managing research data

What is data management?

All research projects generate data, “the recorded information (regardless of the form or the media in which they may exist) necessary to support or validate a research project’s observations, findings or outputs“ (cf. The University of Oxford Policy on the Management of Research Data and Records).

Good data management practices help organise, store and retrieve data for use during the project, and after it is completed.

Find out more about the principles behind data management on the Research Data Oxford website.

Working with data

There are a number of practical activities and considerations involved with day-to-day management of research data. You can find out more about the different aspects of working with data using the links below.

Preservation

Storing your data in suitable formats and under suitable conditions helps ensure that it can be accessed and used by you now and in the future. Find out more about preserving your research data here.

Sharing data

If this is an option there are various legal and ethical issues you might need to think about. Also, it's important to get credit for your data by having it cited correctly. You can find out more information about accessibility and sharing data at the links below.

Tools, services and training

There are a variety of tools and services which can support you with different aspects of managing your research data from developing your data management plan to storing you data in an on-line repository. The RDM website is a useful starting point where you can find a number of tools for data management from both Oxford and external providers.

The University also offers a variety of training to help you manage your data effectively. You can find more information here.

Citing data

As datasets become more widely shared and recognised as an important part of research output, there is more of a need to ensure that data can be reliably cited in publications. This ensures that

  1. Datasets referred to in a publication can be identified easily and unambiguously;
  2. Creators of data are properly acknowledged and credited for their work.

A dataset can be cited in a similar way to how you would cite any other kind of source in a bibliography, although it may need to include extra details such as the version of a dataset you are referring to or what portion of data you are referencing from a larger dataset.

You can find a guide to citing datasets from the Digital Curation Centre (DCC).

Data repositories

ORA-Data

ORA-Data holds records about datasets created as part of research work at Oxford University. ORA-Data can also be used to deposit a dataset if there is no suitable subject, government or funder based repository available.
  • ORA-Data
    Background information about ORA-Data including details of costs for depositing datasets into the archive.
  • ORA-Data LibGuide
    This LibGuide explains the purpose of ORA Data and how to go about creating records for datasets and depositing data.
  • Contribute to ORA-Data
    Choose 'Data' from the available options on this page and use the step-by-step online submission form to create a record for a research dataset and, if required, submit datasets to the archive.

UK Data Archive

A leading social sciences archive that acquires data from many sources - from researchers to public sector and commercial organisations.

ICPSRInter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

An American archive that welcomes and encourages deposits of digital data.

Datahub

​Datahub is a free, powerful data management platform from the Open Knowledge Foundation, based on the CKAN data management system.

4TU.ResearchData

(previously known as 3TU.Datacentrum)provides the research community with:

  • A long-term archive for storing scientific research data
  • Permanent access to, and tools for reuse of research data
  • Advice and support on data management

FigShare

An example of a commercial archival service that provides limited free storage space to hold your research data. You can also use FigShare to share your research data openly on-line.

You can search for other subject specific repositories in the Registry of research data repositories

Training

Additional reading for data management

Contact

If you have any enquiries about data management at Oxford University, you can use the following address to e-mail the RDO data management team.

Alternatively, you can contact either your subject consultant or John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian for assistance.