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Data Management Services

Why data management?

Good data management planning and practices are essential in research. There is a growing awareness of the value of sharing, accessing and preserving research data. Recently, the Canadian Tri-Agencies adopted the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, which outlines the benefits of making research data as accessible as possible such as avoiding duplication and encouraging reuse, maximizing research benefits to Canadians and advancing knowledge (Government of Canada, 2016).

Data Planning Tools

Create a Plan: The DMP Assistant is a freely available tool to Canadian researchers to help you develop a good data management plan for your project. Developed by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries Portage Network, this tool will walk you step-by-step through a series of questions to create a data management plan.

Research Data Management Guide: Maintained by the Dalhousie Libraries, the data management guide contains information about data management planning and more, such as data repositories, metadata standards and best practices.

Share and preserve your data

The Dalhousie Libraries are have tools to help you share and preserve your research data.

DalSpace: DalSpace is an institutional repository that collects, preserves and distributes digital content produced by members of Dalhousie University. It is suitable for documentation related to research datasets, such as journal articles and theses. It can also be used to preserve final datasets (those that will not require changes or editing).

Some of the benefits of using DalSpace is a stable URL, access control and ease of use. It can also handle a variety of file formats. In addition, records from DalSpace are indexed in several places, such as Google, making them more discoverable to users.

More information about DalSpace can be found here.

Dataverse (in development): The Dalhousie Dataverse is a repository for research data collected by researchers and organizations primarily affiliated with Dalhousie University. The repository allows researchers to directly deposit, share, analyze, cite, explore and preserve data.

Dataverse is an open source application developed by the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) at Harvard University. Stayed turned for information on the development of this tool for the Dalhousie Libraries.

Contact

If you have questions about data management planning and related services, contact the data management team: data.management@dal.ca.

To assist us in the evaluation of your data management needs, please answer the pre-meeting questions provided below for your data send it to your subject liaison or data.management@dal.ca.

If you need assistance finding data or statistics, please consult the data page.

The Data Archiving stream is intended for data from completed projects. Data can be housed in DalSpace, the Libraries' Institutional Repository, and can assist with the metadata schema to make your data discoverable. For non-public data, privacy protection is available. At present, we are accepting all formats.

What we need to know about you and your data:

  1. What kind of research do you do? (General research questions, approaches, methodologies, etc.)
  2. Are you the principal investigator?
  3. What kind of data do you collect/create? (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, models, code, etc.)
  4. What formats are involved? (e.g. transcripts, numeric data)
  5. How much data do you have? (in MB/GB/TB)
  6. Do you have any existing documentation files (readme.txt, lab notebooks) that provide a description of the data, file naming conventions, and methodology of how the data was collected?
  7. Do you have an existing metadata files with a key or reference to each data field?
  8. Is the data archiving and/or sharing mandated by a grant or journal submission?
  9. If data archiving and/or sharing is grant-mandated, what type of grant do you have? 
    Are you part of a research network?
    Are there existing constraints or requirements placed on your data archiving and/or sharing? (Grants, journal data policies, research networks, etc.)?
  10. May the data be shared? If so, with whom (fellow researchers, policy makers, public, etc.)? Are there specific restrictions on the data (legal, ethical, intellectual property)?
  11. Where is the data currently stored? (e.g. hard drive, departmental server)
  12. Did you collect the primary data, or was the data obtained from another source? (e.g. a government department) Or are there ownership restrictions based on funding requirements or publication requirements?

Questions in pdf

These questions are primarily for researchers in the planning stages or for projects currently in-progress. Tools for sharing and preserving data at these stages are currently under development. 

What we need to know about you and your data:
  1. What kind of research do you do? (General research questions, approaches, methodologies etc.)
    This question will help inform which librarians may need to be consulted to gain a background understanding of the subject and may even be beneficial to have the consulted librarian(s) present during the data interview.
  2. Are you the principal investigator?
    If you are not the PI, the PI may need to be involved in getting permission for sharing the data, and/or ensure they are aware of the plan.
  3. What kind of data do you plan to collect/create? (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, models, code, etc.)
  4. What formats are involved? (e.g. transcripts, numeric data)
    If the formats are proprietary, is that format is necessary or can it be turned into non-proprietary formats to ensure sharing and longevity.
  5. How much data will you collect and how fast will it grow? (in MB/GB/TB)
    Service fees may apply for storing data sets greater than 0.5TB.
  6. Do you have any grants that require archiving or/and sharing your data?
    If data archiving and/or sharing is grant-mandated, what type of grant do you have?
    Are you part of a research network?
  7. Are there existing constraints or requirements placed on your data archiving and/or sharing? (Grants, journal data policies, research networks, etc.)?
  8. May the data be shared? If so, with whom (fellow researchers, policy makers, public, etc.)? Are there specific restrictions on the data (legal, ethical, intellectual property)?
  9. Will you collect the primary data yourself, or will it be obtained from another source? (e.g. a government department)
    When there are multiple owners for a data set, the data is more difficult to share and another institution may already be handling the preservation and sharing of the data.
  10. How have you organized, stored, and shared your data in the past?

Questions in pdf

Completed Project Data (archiving)

The Data Archiving stream is intended for data from completed projects. Data can be housed in DalSpace, the Libraries' Institutional Repository, and can assist with the metadata schema to make your data discoverable. For non-public data, privacy protection is available. At present, we are accepting all formats.

What we need to know about you and your data:

  1. What kind of research do you do? (General research questions, approaches, methodologies, etc.)
  2. Are you the principal investigator?
  3. What kind of data do you collect/create? (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, models, code, etc.)
  4. What formats are involved? (e.g. transcripts, numeric data)
  5. How much data do you have? (in MB/GB/TB)
  6. Do you have any existing documentation files (readme.txt, lab notebooks) that provide a description of the data, file naming conventions, and methodology of how the data was collected?
  7. Do you have an existing metadata files with a key or reference to each data field?
  8. Is the data archiving and/or sharing mandated by a grant or journal submission?
  9. If data archiving and/or sharing is grant-mandated, what type of grant do you have? 
    Are you part of a research network?
    Are there existing constraints or requirements placed on your data archiving and/or sharing? (Grants, journal data policies, research networks, etc.)?
  10. May the data be shared? If so, with whom (fellow researchers, policy makers, public, etc.)? Are there specific restrictions on the data (legal, ethical, intellectual property)?
  11. Where is the data currently stored? (e.g. hard drive, departmental server)
  12. Did you collect the primary data, or was the data obtained from another source? (e.g. a government department) Or are there ownership restrictions based on funding requirements or publication requirements?

Questions in pdf

Current Project Data (under development)

These questions are primarily for researchers in the planning stages or for projects currently in-progress. Tools for sharing and preserving data at these stages are currently under development. 

What we need to know about you and your data:
  1. What kind of research do you do? (General research questions, approaches, methodologies etc.)
    This question will help inform which librarians may need to be consulted to gain a background understanding of the subject and may even be beneficial to have the consulted librarian(s) present during the data interview.
  2. Are you the principal investigator?
    If you are not the PI, the PI may need to be involved in getting permission for sharing the data, and/or ensure they are aware of the plan.
  3. What kind of data do you plan to collect/create? (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, models, code, etc.)
  4. What formats are involved? (e.g. transcripts, numeric data)
    If the formats are proprietary, is that format is necessary or can it be turned into non-proprietary formats to ensure sharing and longevity.
  5. How much data will you collect and how fast will it grow? (in MB/GB/TB)
    Service fees may apply for storing data sets greater than 0.5TB.
  6. Do you have any grants that require archiving or/and sharing your data?
    If data archiving and/or sharing is grant-mandated, what type of grant do you have?
    Are you part of a research network?
  7. Are there existing constraints or requirements placed on your data archiving and/or sharing? (Grants, journal data policies, research networks, etc.)?
  8. May the data be shared? If so, with whom (fellow researchers, policy makers, public, etc.)? Are there specific restrictions on the data (legal, ethical, intellectual property)?
  9. Will you collect the primary data yourself, or will it be obtained from another source? (e.g. a government department)
    When there are multiple owners for a data set, the data is more difficult to share and another institution may already be handling the preservation and sharing of the data.
  10. How have you organized, stored, and shared your data in the past?

Questions in pdf

Contact us:

For more information, please contact your subject liaison, or the Libraries' Data Management Services at data.management@dal.ca.

To assist us in the evaluation of your data management needs, please answer the pre-meeting questions provided above for your data send it to your subject liaison or data.management@dal.ca.

If you need assistance finding data or statistics, please consult the data page.