Universities have many definitions of "research data". The USC Research Data Management - Procedures uses the following:
"...any data collected during research that could be used to validate the research findings and/or facilitate the reproduction of the research. This includes data in all forms (e.g. electronic, lab notes, surveys, field notes, datasets, audio recordings, test results)."
Research data may also include provenance information about the data, such as how, when or where it was collected, and with what (for example, instrument). It may also include the software code used to generate, annotate or analyse the data.
Before, during and after your project, you should be thinking about your data and how you are storing it, the format you are storing it in, and any long term preservation implications...
Before you start your research data management planning process, you should familiarise yourself with the following documents.
Consider the following questions when planning for your project data requirements:
Use the documents above to help guide you through the planning process.
Complete a USC Research Data Materials and Management Plan
If you are planning on collecting any research data, it is now a requirement that you complete a USC Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) before you commence your research. The RDMP has been developed based on best practice principles and once completed, should be a part of your research documentation and updated as required. A copy should also be stored with the research data.
Once completed, submit the plan to the USC Research Data Registry at email@example.com
NOTE: If you are applying for an ARC Discovery or Linkage grant, changes to the application form now require you to provide an outline of your data management plan. The outline should describe your plans for the management of data produced as a result of the proposed research, including but not limited to storage, access and reuse arrangements.
More information can be found on the ANDS Guide to Filling in the Data Management Section in ARC Grant Applications.
Apply for data storage
Depending on the type of data you are planning on collecting, you may need to apply for data storage.
Please use the decision point matrix and view the benefits and limitations of each storage option before applying for storage.
If you require R Drive data storage, complete the relevant section in the Research Data Management Plan. If you plan on storing your data elsewhere, you will need approval beforehand. The Location of Material and Data Form can be found at the bottom of the policy.
During the project, you should continually review and revise your data storage protocols:
Update your Plan annually
On an annual basis, you will be sent a reminder from the USC Research Data Registry team to review and update your USC Research Data Management Plan if necessary. If there are any changes to your plan, simply complete a new one and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The details will be updated in the USC Research Data Registry.
At the conclusion of your project, consider the following:
You will be required to examine the data that has been collected, and decide what needs to be kept for archiving purposes. The Research Data Management Plan will need to be revised for a final time and the record will be updated in the USC Research Data Registry.
If you wish to share your data, a record will also be published in the USC Research Bank, so that it appears alongside your publications, and also on Research Data Australia to allow reuse, citation and collaboration with other researchers nationally and internationally.
Planning for your data management needs at the start of your project will save you time and resources in the long run.
Preserve your data: Damaged drives, new operating systems and upgraded software can render your data useless, while you still need it.
Increase your research efficiency: Have you ever had a hard time understanding the data that you or your colleagues have collected? Documenting your data throughout its life cycle saves time because it ensures that in the future you and others will be able to understand and use it.
Document and explain your data: Managing and documenting your data throughout its life cycle ensures that the integrity and proper description of your data are maintained.
Meet grant requirements: Many funding agencies and journal publishers now require that researchers retain and properly archive data which they collect as part of a research project. Some also require that the data is made accessible externally.