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Research Data Management: Data Management Checklist

Dat Management Checklist

The UK Data Archive has put together a data management checklist for identifying best data practices and what to do to optimize data sharing.

  • Are you using standardized and consistent procedures to collect, process, and check, validate and verify data?

  • Are your structured data self-explanatory in terms of variable names, codes and abbreviations used?

  • Which descriptions and contextual documentation can explain what your data means, how they were collected and the methods used to create them?

  • How will you label and organize data, records, and files?

  • Will you apply consistency in how data are catalogued, transcribed and organized, e.g. standard templates or input forms?

  • Which data formats will you use? Do formats and software enable sharing and long-term validity of data, such as non-proprietary software and software based on open standards?

  • When converting data across formats, do you check that no data or internal metadata have been lost or changed?

  • Are your digital and non-digital data, and any copies, held in a safe and secure locations?

  • Do you need to securely store personal or sensitive data?

  • If data are collected with mobile devices, how will you transfer and store data?

  • If data are held in various places, how will you keep track of versions?

  • Are your files backed up sufficiently and regularly and are back-ups stored safely?

  • Do you know what the master version of your data files is?

  • Do your data contain confidential or sensitive information? If so, have you discusses data sharing with the respondents from whom you collected the data?

  • Are you gaining (written) consent from respondents to share data beyond your research?

  • Do you need to anonymize data, e.g. to remove identifying information or personal data, during research or in preparation for sharing?

  • Have you established who owns the copyright of your data? Might there be joint copyright?

  • Who has access to which data during and after research? Are various access regulations needed?

  • Who is responsible for which part of data management?

  • Do you need extra resources to manage data, such as people, time or hardware?


(credit UKDA)