Thing 18: Research Data Management

My first task was to get a grip on the term RDM. I mean, I need to know what is meant by the meaning of the word “research data” here, before I can “manage” it. Well, surprisingly, it can be personal diaries, work e-mails, holiday snapshots and, even, home videos. These are all forms of data. You can manage them by making digital copies (maybe from a photo) and sticking them in “The Cloud”. That’s a valid form of RDM so it makes it seem like much more of an approachable subject when you consider it in real terms.

Data seems to break down into four types:
Observational – irreplaceable real-time data (e.g. server data)
Experimental – reproducible data (e.g.; lab work data)
Simulation – analytical data (e.g. test model data)
Derived or compiled data – reproducible data (e.g. data mining)

Something as simple as organising your e-mail inbox falls into the realm of RDM.
How do you file that important e-mail away where you know where it will be at the touch of a button? An appropriate, unique folder name could do it.

Perhaps you’ve got a stock of old photos you want to share and store. Part of a good “data management plan” then would be to consider the “licensing” aspect and where exactly to store it when you’ve done it. Leaving the images in your hard-drive might not be the best idea. Putting them in a data archive would certainly be a more secure place.

I can see it’s time for me to start thinking about my online shadow-self and where I intend to store my digital footprint in the long-term.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Everything is data! Everything.

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