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Data Management Planning

A guide to best practices for managing research data, including links to data services available to CSU Fullerton.

Reasons to Manage Your Data: 

  • Save time: Planning for your data management needs ahead of time will save you time and resources in the long run. 
  • Increase your research efficiency: Documenting your data throughout its life cycles save time because it ensures that in the future you and others will be able to understand and use your data. 
  • Simplify your life: Enabling a repository to house and disseminate your data lets you focus on your research rather than responding to requests or worrying about data that may be housed on your web site.
  • Preserve your data: Only by depositing your data in a repository can you be sure that they will be available to you and other researchers in the long-term. Doing so safeguards your investment of time and resources (including any work done for you by graduate students) and preserves your unique contribution to research.
  • Ensure data integrity: 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 now require that researchers write a data management plan. These plans are peer-reviewed as part of the grant process, and a good data management plan may increase a researcher's chances at getting funded. Proper execution of the steps proposed in a management plan may increase a researcher's chances at getting his grant renewed.

Reasons to Publish Your Data:

  • Increase the impact and visibility of your research: Making your data available to other researchers through widely-searched repositories can increase your prominence and demonstrate continued use of the data and relevance of your research. This ​provides credit to the researcher as  data becomes a research output in its own right 
  • Facilitate new discoveries and collaborations: Enabling other researchers to use your data reinforces open scientific inquiry and can lead to new and unanticipated discoveries. And doing so prevents duplication of effort by enabling others to use your data rather than trying to gather the data themselves.
  • Encourages the improvement and validation of research methods: Sharing data maximizes both transparency and accountability thus strengthening one's research findings and methods.
  • Meet grant requirements: Many funding agencies now require that researchers deposit in an archive data which they collect as part a research project. 
  • Support open access: Researchers are becoming increasingly more aware of the need to manage their work and consider issues of scholarly communication. The Open Data movement advocates for researchers to share their data in order to foster the development of knowledge. 

Source: adapted from UCLA Libraries and MIT Libraries