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Library Subject Guides

1. Plan your Research: Research Data Management

A guide for starting your research at University of Canterbury

From the Library

Help with managing your data

As well as Subject Librarians and the Research Data Co-ordinator who can give you specific help on data issues, the Library run data handling workshops - three hour sessions covering best practices for managing your data. 

We can also arrange courses for your research group, including all those available through the Data Carpentry program - including SQL, Open Refine, and Data visualization in R and Python

Your data is as important as your analysis

Welcome to the Research Data Management Guide

No data, no paper.

Having your data available is becoming the norm for more and more disciplines.  We all need to get skills in publishing and presenting our datasets.  The library can help right from the beginning of your project, with courses in handling your data, right through to the end, in helping you make it available.

Where to store your data

Recommended Storage Services.

There are a lot of places to store your data to back up your research.  We have combed the available alternatives, and can recommend some services that will meet your needs.

Do you need to publish your data publicly?

You'll need somewhere that can give your data a good identifier (DOI) and will preserve it forever.  You'll want to put in lots of good metadata so people can find it when they search.  You'll also need to license it so others know how they can cite and reuse it.    We recommend Figshare.   It is free, easy to use, very popular, and you can create projects shared with your colleagues.  Other excellent services are the Open Science Framework, Zenodo and Dryad.  

Want to share your data with colleagues privately?

Dropbox is a straightforward tool that can share your data with specific people, and help you make it available to journal editors and those requesting your data in one click.  The other data repositories mentioned above can also share with specific collaborators.  You can apply for an institutional account with no size limits through ITS

Confidential, sensitive or large data sets.

Canterbury offer a free service for researchers with large or confidential datasets that need to be kept secure on campus.  Big datasets are hard to move around, and are best if they are local.  The Canterbury Research Data Storage Service can be accessed in a number of ways by Windows, Macintosh and Unix based computers.  

Who to Contact

Confused about where to put your data?

Your local Subject Librarian can help, and the Library have a team of research metadata experts who can help you through the process of choosing a data repository, and fill in all the appropriate metadata for it.  Having the right subjects and identifiers can make the difference between your hard work disappearing without trace, and being found.  

More resources

What can I do?

  1. Work through the excellent online tutorials at MANTRA
  2. Use a checklist to see if you need to create a data management plan
  3. Create a Data Management Plan - see the Data Management Plan Tool at the Digital Curation Centre
  4. Attend a library course on Data Management
  5. Publish your data with the UC Research Repository
  6. Lean how to cite other people's datasets