Managing information effectively by using appropriate tools, applications and software efficiently is a vital skill for any researcher who is challenging with information overload and "data deluge" today.
Data management includes all activities associated with data other than the direct use of the data. It may include:
Typically data management is done at the last minute and using the first method that comes to mind. This approach is usually time-consuming and error-prone.
Taking time at the start of a research project to put in place robust, easy-to-use data management procedures will usually pay off several times over in the later stages of the project. To sum up: improvements to efficiency, protection, quality & exposure.
Basic data management is required by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Compliance with the Code is already a requirement for ARC (The Australian Research Council) and NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) funding and is likely to be mandated by other funding bodies, government and institutions in the near future.
Inadequate data management can also lead to catastrophes like the loss of data or the violation of people's privacy.
Research Data MANTRA is an Open Educational Resource from the University of Edinburgh, providing a free online course in research data management, designed for PhD students and others who are planning a research project using digital data.
DMPonline has been developed by the Digital Curation Centre to help you write data management plans.
Data Management Manual
Highlights key aspects of data management and writing a plan
Data Management Planning
Guidelines for management of research data.
Data Management Planning
(Monash Uni., 2009)
Includes a draft checklist for HDR students
Data Management Plans
Links to various resources, including an online tool
When preparing your thesis for examination, it may take one of three forms:
Reading completed theses provide an important source for identifying current research in the area. They also provide insight into current research activities and strengths at an institution, which may be valuable when deciding where to study.
Theses can be found in Open Access Repositories, and most library catalogues. A good source of Australian material can be found at NLA Catalogue, TROVE.
Many databases offer an alerting service which allows the user to keep up to date with new research in a particular field of study. When you register for such a service, you will receive the alerts via email straight to your inbox or via an RSS feed.
RSS, or “Really Simple Syndication” is a family of formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds, journal alerts or podcasts. With an RSS reader (or aggregator) you can subscribe to many feeds and read the new entries all in one place, without having to visit individual Web sites to find them and without cluttering your inbox.
Many publishers are using RSS feeds to provide an alerting service to advise on new information as it becomes available. Three types of journal alert are available:
Examples of our databases that provide this service include EbscoHost, Proquest Public Health and PubMed.
There are many ways to stay up-to-date with new journal publications:
JournalTOCs is a free service for journal tables of contents (TOCs) alerts from over 2000 publishers. Simply create an account and select the journals for which you want to receive alerts.
Google Scholar alerts: Set up your search preferences to be regularly alerted by email.
Communication channels to help you stay up to date with scholarly communication resources and methods.
@researchinfo - Research Information magazine/website Twitter feed
@andsdata - The Australian National Data Service makes Australian research data more valuable by managing, connecting, enabling discovery and supporting reuse
@ResourcefulHDR - HDR Professional Skills Program Manager, Macquarie Uni.HDR Professional skills, careers, employability, networking and higher ed.
@researchwhisper - The Research Whisperer shepherds you through the arcane world of academic research, funding, + building that track-record
@arc_gov_au - The ARC provides research advice to Government, administers the National Competitive Grants Programme and Excellence in Research for Australia
@nhmrc - National Health and Medical Research Council: Australia's peak body for health and medical research, evidence-based health guidelines, and health ethics.
@HERDJournal - The international peer review journal of the Higher Education Research and Development Society Australasia (HERDSA)
Referencing manager that is simple to use and easy to download and install. Compatible with Windows, Mac, LibreOffice and BibTeX. Its popular features include
Tool designed to help researchers and students easily collect, organise, cite and share research sources. Its popular features include:
Is available to Torrens University Australia staff and Students (please contact Library Support for a login) and is platform for researchers, evaluators, policy advisors, social workers, educators and students to analysing all forms of unstructured data. NVivo interrogate data using powerful search query and visualisation tools to get into the detail. Rigorously justify findings and share the work. Popular features include:
Useful onling cloud-based tools for file storage, organising your research and improving your productivity
Google Drive - needs a personal Gmail account to begin
figshare - a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, sharable and discoverable manner
Evernote is a free cloud productivity tool and a digital notebook for storing various types of contents, with syncing and access across devices.