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Defined" page of the "Research Data Management" guide.
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Research Data Management  

This guide covers principles of data management and data management planning, along with summaries of various agency requirements, links to example data management plans, and pointers to the best tools and resources around.
Last Updated: Apr 28, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Data Management
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This Guide is for you....

if you've ever ....

  • Wanted to store your research data safely and securely on a trusted server
  • Needed to comply with a funding agency's requirements for a Data Management Plan
  • Wished to link your research data to your research articles
  • Wondered how to make sure your research data can be reused over time
  • Looked for available data on a given topic, time period or geographic location

Data Management Support at the Texas A&M Libraries

The University Libraries offer a variety of services to support data management efforts by Texas A&M researchers:

  • Raising awareness of best practices in data management and data managment planning
  • Collecting examples of "successful" data management plans submitted with funded proposals
  • Consulting with researchers on existing metadata formats and controlled vocabularies that can be used to document data for a particular project
  • Assisting in finding data repositories where Texas A&M researchers may submit, share and preserve their data
  • Raising awareness of data preservation issues

We invite you to explore the pages of this LibGuide and let us know how we can help you with your data management needs.   For additional information, consultation, or referrals, please contact us at


What Is Data Management?

In the context of research and scholarship, "Data Management" refers to the storage, access and preservation of data produced from a given investigation. Data managment practices cover the entire lifecycle of the data, from planning the investigation to conducting it, and from backing up data as it is created and used to long term preservation of data deliverables after the research investigation has concluded.

Specific activities and issues that fall within the category of Data Management include:

  • File naming: the proper way to name computer files
  • Data quality control and quality assurance
  • Data access
  • Data documentation (including levels of uncertainty)
  • Metadata creation and controlled vocabularies
  • Data storage
  • Data archiving & preservation
  • Data sharing and re-use
  • Data integrity
  • Data security
  • Data privacy
  • Data rights
  • Notebook protocols (lab or field)

Why Bother with Data Management?

Data Management is useful to investigators because it helps to

  • Organize data
  • Store and backup data
  • Take care of data so it is readily available for ongoing use
  • Preserve data for future re-use
  • Share data with colleagues
  • Comply with university rules and protocols for research integrity
  • Comply with funder requirements

Who Is Responsible for Data Management?

Data management is commonly a shared responsibility

  • Researchers generally have a high level of expertise in handling and manipulating datasets
  • Data scientists may work closely with dataset creators to manipulate, visualize and analyze the data
  • Data managers steward the dataset through its life cycle to ensure its usefulness and fitness for re-use both during and after a given research project is concluded. 

Data managers may be investigators, research assistants, graduate students, information technology specialists, informaticists, research librarians, or some combination of these professionals.

For information and news about Research Data Management at Texas &M, consult the tab "Research Data Taskforce" above.


Data Sharing Snafu in Three Short Acts
(or, Why Data Management Matters)

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Are you responsible for reviewing data management plans?

if you are responsible for reviewing grant proposals and their data management plans, you may find the following guide very helpful.  It was created by the Data Management Services at Johns Hopkins University.


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