Using best practices through all stages of a research project will ensure the accessibility and longevity of resulting data.
Even if one is not required by your funding agency, developing a data management plan (DMP) at the beginning of a new project will inform good practice throughout the research life cycle. The following practices are fundamental to effective data management and can be applied to all disciplines:
The Data Management Plan:
|Type of Data||Recommended Format||Formats to avoid|
|Plain Text||.txt||.docx, .doc, .rtf|
|Tabular Text||.csv, .tsv||.xlsx, .xls|
|Image||.jp2, .tiff||.jpg, .psd|
"Each Faculty has guidelines for the retention of original data and materials relating to scholarly activity. In the event your Faculty has no formalized policy, the minimum period for data retention accepted by the GREB is 2 years. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to deposit your data with an archive. This cannot be done without the permission of the subjects. Take this into consideration when seeking their consent to participate in your research."
In addition, Queen's University has a Electronic Information Security Policy Framework designed to preserve the integrity and reliability of the University's IT infrastructure and the confidentiality of valuable or sensitive information. All members of the Queen's community have a responsibility to be aware of, and adhere to, this policy.
For those collecting human-subject data, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) has an excellent page providng 'Recommended Informed Consent Language for Data Sharing'.
Sharing data is an essential part of the Data Life Cycle. While you can share your data informally by emailing it to other researchers or posting it to a website, informal methods of sharing make it difficult for people to find your data and access it in both the short and the long-term. Depositing your data in an appropriate data archive is a much better option that helps ensure preservation and future discovery/use of your data. Queen's Libraries' (firstname.lastname@example.org) can help you select an appropriate archive.
|Chemistry||Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre|
|Social Sciences||Scholars Portal Dataverse, ODESI, or ICPSR|