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Managing your data – University of Reading

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Managing your data

Managing data on a day-to-day basis during the course of your research involves a number of practical considerations and activities. These include:

  • storing and backing up your data in suitable locations, so that they are protected against loss, accessible to those who need them, and secure against unauthorised access. The University's IT provides a number of options for the storage and sharing of research data;
  • organising your data, using suitable filing systems, file naming and version control policies, so that data files are easy to navigate and locate, and versions of files are clearly identifiable;
  • using appropriate file formats to store and process your data and prepare them for preservation;
  • using quality control procedures to manage the risks of collecting poor quality data and introducing errors into data in the course of processing and analysis;
  • capturing relevant documentation and metadata, so that data can be correctly and accurately understood and used by you and colleagues, and to support effective public sharing of data in due course. 

Collecting data from research participants also involves deciding what tools are appropriate to the purpose. Where online tools are used, information security and compliance with data protection law must be considered. We provide information about a number of online survey tools available through the University, including UoR REDCap.

To explore further aspects of data management described above, you may wish to consult some of training and information resources listed on the Useful links page. UK Data Service guidance is particularly recommended. 

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