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Environmental Observation and Informatics (EOI) Library Resources : Data Management

Learn About Data Management

UW-Madison Research Data Services (RDS) is an interdisciplinary organization that provides students and researchers with the tools and resources that support their efforts to store, analyze, and share data.

Curious about a particular aspect of data management? Browse their list of data management core concepts to learn more.

Don’t see the information you’re looking for above? You can always contact them with specific questions about your data.

EOI Data Management Articles

Tidy Data (open access article)

Wickham, H. (2014). Tidy Data. Journal of Statistical Software, 59(10), 1 - 23. doi:

Tidy data is a standard way of mapping the meaning of a dataset to its structure. A dataset is messy or tidy depending on how rows, columns and tables are matched up with observations, variables and types. In tidy data:

1. Each variable forms a column.
2. Each observation forms a row.
3. Each type of observational unit forms a table.

Ecological Data Sharing (open access article)

Michener, W. K. (2015). Ecological data sharing. Ecological Informatics, 29, 33-44. doi:


  • Data sharing has evolved slowly and unevenly due to incentives and disincentives.
  • "Big ecology” policies have pioneered the initial movement to open data.
  • Research sponsors, publishers and scientific societies drive sociocultural change.
  • Information technologies like metadata tools and repositories promulgate sharing.
  • Emerging best practices support data openness and sharing in ecology.

Practical Guidance for Integrating Data Management into Long-Term Ecological Monitoring Projects (open access article)

Sutter, R. D., Wainscott, S. B., Boetsch, J. R., Palmer, C. J., & Rugg, D. J. (2015). Practical guidance for integrating data management into long‐term ecological monitoring projects. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 39(3), 451-463. doi:

Long‐term monitoring and research projects are essential to understand ecological change and the effectiveness of management activities... Recent papers have provided broad recommendations for data management; however, practitioners need more detailed guidance and examples. We present general yet detailed guidance for the development of comprehensive, concise, and effective data management for monitoring projects...

Learn About Data Management Tools

Explore tools and techniques to organize, analyze, and visualize your data, as well as track your research impact, through these campus and online resources.

On Campus


  • UW-Madison Libraries Researcher Support: A portal to many of the resources covered in this course guide as well as information on patents, copyright, and managing your sources.
  • Library Micro-courses: Short, nongraded courses focused on a particular topic that you complete at your own pace. Topics include: research data management, grants & funding, copyright & fair use, and more.
  • ORCiD: This free program provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and helps you track your published research.
  • LinkedIn Learning: Free tutorials for R, SQL, Tidy Data, Python and more.
  • DMPtool: Free templates and examples of data management plans. After clicking on the "Get started" button, use the UW-Madison institutional affiliation (Option 1) and log in with your NetID and password.
  • OpenRefine: Free download and short tutorials about this tool that cleans your data quickly and efficiently.
  • Open Science Framework: Not just for science, but a free workflow and collaboration tool for research and scholarship in all disciplines.
  • Tabula: Free download and instructions for this tool that extracts data are locked inside PDFs.