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Data Management

Guide to data management resources for researchers

About Data Management

Research Data Management involves processes and tools that researchers use to create and save the data they generate over the course of their research. Data may be in various forms including text, transcripts, recordings and numeric data. There are a number of tools that can be used to help organize, format, document, store, protect and preserve your data that will help to save time, increase efficiency, meet grant requirements, improve accessibility and secure your research data. For more information explore the content below and read the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management

Research Data Management Resources

The Portage Network

Portage "is a national, library-based research data management network" that provides guidance on how to manage research data. Create an account to access the Data Management Plan (DMP) Assistant, an effective tool to help create a data management plan that meets the requirements of the Tri-Agency Funders. Although ECUAD is not one of the partnering institutions, individuals can still sign up and access the DMP Assistant.

UBC Research Data Management

Find information on data management for all stages of the research process. Learn to organize; format; document and describe; store and back up; preserve; and protect your research data. Learn how to make your data publicly available. Learn to publish, license and cite your research data. Learn how to find data to help with your research.


A free online course on digital data management.

Describe your data

Use metadata to help search for and access your data. Click here for some examples of metadata standards. 

Common Metadata Elements

  • Title of data set
  • Creator
  • Subject (used standardized disciplinary terminology
  • Description (how and why the data was collected)
  • Abstract (how the dataset will be used)
  • Contributors
  • Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
  • Type (image, text, spreadsheet, etc.)
  • License

Organizing your data

It is important to set up conventions and be consistent with how you organize your data files. This will help you and other researchers access your data in the future.

Here are some recommended conventions:

  • Record dates in YYYYMMDD format
  • Use short unique identifiers
  • Include a summary of content in file name
  • Use underscores as delimiters
  • Keep track of document versions sequentially or by date
  • Make folder hierarchies simple

Example: FileName_Guidelines_20170407_v01.docx

Storage and Security

Storing your data

  • Back up your data on a regular basis
  • Store three copies: original, copy on local external device, copy on external devise at different location
  • Check with IT for their storage and backup capacity

Securing your data

  • Ensure computer hard drives are encrypted
  • Do not store data on free cloud services (Dropbox or Google Drive)       604-844-3840        520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC