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Advanced Research Strategies

What Is Data Management?

What is data management and why do I need to do it?

A general definition of data management is the collection and organization of data produced by scholars and researchers in order to preserve knowledge and aid future research. Currently, the impetus for managing data is due to government mandates, in the United States as well as other countries, to make research more accessible to the public who are funding it through the payment of taxes. While the most visible data management campaigns are typically within the sciences, all academic disciplines can benefit from and, indeed, have been adopting over time, plans to archive and make available their research output.

Example data management policy: National Institutes of Health Data Management and Sharing Policy Guidance for Northwestern University Investigators. This website features checklists, templates, and links to NU resources as well as sites beyond NU.

Data Management books

More Resources

Data Management research guide

 A guide curated by NU Libraries with links to data management campus resources, as well as helpful sites beyond NU. Among the aids is the DMPTool, a wizard for creating data management plans. Also included are templates for specific funding agencies and videos on data management best practices.

Data Management 101

A quick overview in 46 slides of what data management is all about (credit: University of California Irvine Libraries).

Data Management Glossary

An alphabetical list of data management terms compiled by Cornell University's Research Data Management Service Group.

Data Management Training Clearinghouse

A searchable registry of data management online learning resources.

Managing your files

Recommendations from MIT Libraries on how to manage your files, including organizing and backing them up.

Research Data Management at NU

Consulting services on data management for NU faculty, students, staff provided at no cost.