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Data and Statistics for Social Sciences: 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 Data Supporting Research Outputs).

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.

Data management planning

Data management planning is a key stage in preparing and delivering a research project outlining how digital materials will be processed, analysed and generally handled. This plan will vary in style and content depending upon the discipline and nature of the project.

In-depth consideration of the role of this documentation is offered through Bodleian iSkills and OU IT Learning centre, and is covered on the Research Data Oxford website. Additional DMP related information is available on the latter including links to more examples and information on the role and expectations of funders, publishers and repositories.

See below some examples of Data Management Plans (DMPs) -

Additional reading for data management

Data repositories


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


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.

ICPSR: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

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

Linkage Library

A new repository for data, code and communication around Data Linkage /Entity Resolution /Disambiguation for researchers involved in combining datasets.
Entries can be a pointer to your GitHub or other public site, or the code and data uploaded to the site hosted at ICPSR.


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.

Discover the background information about ORA-Data, including details of costs for depositing datasets into the archive.
The LibGuide explains the purpose of ORA Data and how to go about creating records for datasets and depositing 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.


(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

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


If you have any enquiries about data management at Oxford University, you can e-mail the RDO data management team. Alternatively, you can contact either your subject consultant, or John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian for assistance.