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BIOLOGY 152: Introductory Biology: IP-Finding Research Articles and Databases (Spring 2024) : Managing Your Research Data

Research Data Management

It's never too early to start learning about best practices for managing your project data! Establishing good habits now will help you as you move through your education and career.

The UW Madison Research Data Services has many suggested resources for learning about data management, including those to help you find, reuse, and cite datasets. The UW Libraries' micro-course Introduction to Research Data Management is also a helpful resource.

Here are 5 top tips for data management to ensure data longevity and usefulness:

  1. 3-2-1-0 rule for data backup. 3 copies of your data in 2 different locations on more than 1 type of storage hardware. 0 USB drives used.
  2. Use open file formats. TXT, CSV, TIF, etc. Avoid proprietary formats when possible.
  3. Organize and name files meaningfully. Avoid special characters and spaces in folder and file names. Use names that describe the contents of a file, selecting 3-4 key pieces of information.
  4. Document your research process. Create a README file, give your work context to be able to go back later and know what you did.
  5. Have a plan and stick with it!