UCL Library Services


Research Data Management: best practices

Best practices

This information offers help with managing digital and non-digital research data for all disciplines. Our how-to guides provide guidance to plan ahead for data management and give you advice on how to meet funders’ expectations

What are research data?

Research data are the original sources or material that you have created or collated to conduct your research project. The response to your research question is based on the analysis of these research data. Read more...

What is Research Data Management?

Research Data Management covers all of the decisions made during the research lifecycle to handle research data, from the planning stage of your project up to the long-term preservation of your data. Good data management practices are essential to meet UCL standards of research integrity.

Planning ahead for Research Data Management helps you to ensure data quality, minimize risks, save time and comply with legal, ethical, institutional and funders’ requirements.

More information on Research Data Management can be found on the webpages of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and of the Digital Curation Centre.

How-to guides

These guides are designed to mirror the lifecycle of your research project. They provide support at its various stages.

 Topics covered
Creating & analysing data
Collecting data- Collecting sensitive data - Organising data - Formats - Describing data: metadata & documentation - Analysing data - Improving software
Choosing your formats Choosing your formats - Text, images & audiovisual files - Recommended formats - Preservation - Dissemination
Data discovery & re-use
Finding data for re-use - Finding publications & projects - Citing data - Handling copyright, Intellectual Property Rights & licences issues - Analysing data
Storing & preserving data
Options for data storage - Information security - Long-term preservation & archiving - Storing sensitive & personal information - Retention & disposal of records
Sharing data
Handling copyright, Intellectual Property Rights & licences issues - Where to deposit data - Constraints to release data - Metadata, documentation & DOIs - Anonymising - Sharing publications - Citing data
Handling sensitive & personal information
Using personal data in research - Ethical approval & registration - Anonymising data - Data protection - NHS data
Guidance for grant applicants
Knowing funders' policies & expectations - Writing Data Management Plans - Costing data management - Writing grant applications
Writing Data Management Plans
When do I need a Data Management Plan? - Why they are useful - Tools, models and support
Costing data management
Key questions to estimate costs - Time & budget-anticipating tools - Funding
Software sustainability, preservation and sharing
 Why preserve software - How to preseve software - Citing software - Archiving GitHub repositories 

For more information, check our FAQs and our resources. You can also send us your questions.