An interesting thing happened to one of our 2016 Honours students this summer. Someone from out there, someone not from our university, asked if they could use the data that was created by the student’s research work 😮
How exciting, and terrifying.
If it were to happen to you, would you know what to do?
In the project registration process, we get you to share a lot of stuff with us.
While it may seem like we are just being rather nosey, all that detail helps us to help you improve your chances of a 10/10 landing on the data management front at the end of your project
When you are busy working in a research project it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that you need to work on the project too.
What do I mean by this?
Well, if you have good data management practices throughout your project, you have a much greater chance of:
recognising when you have just created an important data resource in your project
being able to create meaningful and accurate metadata in a timely manner
use the metadata that you created to write well about the process(es) that you used to perform your research work in your thesis
archiving the right resources at the end of your project without missing data that supports a crucial part of your thesis or including a lot or weird and random files that will confuse people later on (and maybe make them wonder how organised you really were… )
being able to quickly package your data and create or obtain an appropriate licence if someone approaches you about having access to data generated as a result of your research
So, what would you do if someone wanted to use your research data for something?
Have you ever thought about it?
Would it matter to you what it was they wanted to do?
What types of questions would you consider in working out whether you could share the data created during the research project?