Data Management Tips Handout


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Basic tips for managing research data. This is the accompanying handout for the RCR presentation here:

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Data Management Tips Handout

  1. 1. Data Management Use Backups Rule of 3: have 2 on-site copies, 1 offsite Automate backups whenever possible Periodically test restore data from backups Be Consistent Name your files consistently Avoid spaces and the following characters: “ / : * ? ‘ < > [ ] & $ Use date conventions: YYYY-MM-DD or YYYYMMDD Examples: 20090923_spctrm_trans_03.csv,, BlogPost-2011-11-12.docx Consistent documentation Think about documentation before you start a project Make a list of the information to record when you acquire a dataset Examples: date, experiment, sample number, calibration factors, temperature, etc. Document Your Conventions Print out near computer/experiment area In front of research/lab notebook Page 1: Project information Page 2: Document conventions and abbreviations Page 3-X: Index of experiments (use 1 index line per page in notebook) README.txt in computer folders Top-level folder: Project information Lower-level folders: What’s in this folder? Plan ahead Get security assistance if you deal with HIPPA, FERPA, IRB, or other sensitive information UWM Information Security Office: HIPAA: FERPA: Avoid proprietary file formats or convert to them as soon as possible Examples: .doc to .txt, .xls to .csv, .jpg to .tif Preserve software if no open format available Periodically move data off outdated media CC-BY Kristin Briney, Data Services Librarian University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries