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Finding Data/Data Support


Data Management

Offers research strategies for finding data in general and select broad subject areas.

Organizing Your Data for the Data Lifecycle

Follow best practices while collecting or generating your data and you will save time when you are asked to validate your work or share your data. 

Think in advance about:

  • Documentation
  • Loss Prevention
  • Security
  • Storage

Plan for reusing your data by using best practices for:

•File Formats
•File Naming
•Directory Structure
•Version Control
•If a group project, assign responsibility

Best Practices in Data Management

Loss Prevention


Backup your data on local and remote external servers and have a contingency plan for restoring lost data 

Formatting for long term preservation

When naming files in your data set, be consistent and descriptive.

To prevent data from being lost to incompatibility, store it as formats and on hardware that are open standard, not proprietary.

Type of Data Recommended Format Avoid These Formats
Plain Text .txt .docx, .doc, .rtf
Tabular Text .csv, .tsv .xlsx, .xls
Image .jp2, .tiff .jpg, .psd
Documents .pdf/a, .epub .azw
Archiving .zip .rar
Storage Cloud CD-Rom


Data Documentation:

  • Use metadata to record details about a study such as
    • its context
    • the dates of data collections
    • data collection methods, etc.

Best Practices Primer from DataONE for more details