Manage Your Research Data: Home

Resources to help you prepare your data for open access and archiving

In This Guide

Data management is a vital part of the research process. Learn skills and develop good habits early on to help you effectively manage and maintain the usefulness for your research data. Managing your data makes it easier for you (and other scholars) to share and build upon your research in new studies. Furthermore, shared open data is also now often a requirement for funded research and publication.

The pages in this guide provide more information about:

  • Data Management Plans & Funder Guidelines: guidance from funding agencies about, templates for, and examples of DMPs
  • Documentation & Metadata: documenting your data and providing structured information about your datasets utilizing disciplinary standards 
  • File Format & Naming: including file naming conventions, file organization, and formatting best practices for your data
  • Backup & Storage: best practices for both short- and long-term storage of your data
  • Sharing: how to manage your data so that it is not only accessible, but also useful to others (and your future self!)
  • Citing: emerging standards for proper citation of data

Data Sets Dark Timeline

From the time of publication, access to the study's data degrades over time unless proper data management steps are taken. The researcher forgets details, or data is not backed up and lost, or maybe the researcher changes careers or passes away.

graph illustrating loss of access to data over time

Graph adapted by Tim Vines, 2016, from Michener et al. (1997) Nongeospa2al metadata for the ecological sciences. Ecol. Appl. 7:330.

Data Sharing and Management

A conversation reveals the many things that can go wrong when one doesn't take data management seriously. 5 minute video from the NYU Health Sciences Library

Data Management Services Librarian

Rick Mikulski's picture
Rick Mikulski
Portland State University Library
(503) 725-9939


Thanks to the Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School for the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECDMC) and to the Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) for providing their data management curricula under the Creative Commons license allowing us to re-use it here at PSU. Thanks to Brent Wilson, who drafted this guide.