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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in STEM
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in STEM

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2.3.1 Research data management

Research Data Management, or RDM, is about how to organise your data throughout your project and beyond. A good way to approach this is to write a data management plan, which will describe how the data of your inquiry will be stored, documented, preserved and shared.

A proactive approach to data management reduces the risk of inappropriate disclosure of sensitive data. And lots of data are unique and can only be captured once. If lost, they can’t be replaced, so a preservation strategy is needed. Ensuring your data are safe is crucial to any research project. Therefore, a good storage and backup strategy will help prevent potential data loss.

The Open University (OU) has a dedicated RDM webpage [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] that explains the value of managing your research data. The OU’s RDM policy explains both the researcher and institutional responsibilities with regard to management of research data.

UCL’s Research Data Management website provides a number of resources to support decision-making related to data management during the research data lifecycle, from the planning stage through to preserving and sharing research outputs.

Your institution will have similar RDM procedures and policies and it may be worth exploring and creating a data management plan for your SoTL project in accordance with the institutional guidance and/or requirements of the funder of your SoTL project.

In the UK, the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) has provided an online platform, DMPonline, which helps you to create, review and share data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements.

The UK’s data service has useful guidance on research data management and has a Data management checklist.