Why manage data?
Satisfy funder requirements
Increasingly, funding bodies mandate the submission of a Data Management Plan (DMP) to ensure that data can be preserved and shared.
A detailed DMP will help you:
meet the requirements of your funding agency
address preservation, documentation and verification issues.
Plan for and comply with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) for data sharing.
Many funder provide their own DMP templates. If your research funder doesn't have a DMP creation system, you are funded by the NRF, or do not have a research funder, you can use UCT Libraries’ DMPonline.
Organise and understand your data
By managing your data, you make it easier to understand the details and procedures relating to your data and data collection throughout the life cycle of the project.
Good data management makes research easier
Increase citations and get recognition
The data you collect are the basis of your research. By managing your data you increase your chances of being recognised and cited by others.
Well-managed data ensures that your research can be reused and validated by others.
Enable reproducibility and growth in research output
Well-managed data is:
These four components of well-managed research data are known together as the FAIR Data principles. If your data is well managed, time and costs of future research efforts are greatly reduced. It makes it easier for you (or your students, or colleagues) to be able to reuse the data in future studies, and when appropriate shareable with the broader research community future research output and facilitate new discoveries. Note that while the FAIR principles are geared towards open data publication, data can be FAIR-compliant without being made open.
The Australian National Data Service has excellent resources on how to make your data more FAIR.