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Best Practices: Overview

data best practices PowerPoint

Research Data Management Services


Brandeis researchers across disciplines are performing incredible and world-changing research, producing unique data every day.  Funding agencies, publishers, and research communities are increasingly interested in seeing these data preserved and shared alongside more traditional publication.  LTS offers resources and services to assist researchers in all stages of the data management process: from planning ahead and submitting grant proposals; to storing and securing data during active research; to long-term preservation to satisfy patent or funding requirements, or future use in-lab for comparison of experiment results; to sharing and publishing data for reuse by other researchers.

Data Management Life Cycle
data management life cycle
Image courtesy of Michigan State University Libraries
Copyright MSU Board of Trustees


LTS can help at every stage:

Expand All / Collapse All

Research Data Planning & Design
  • For submitting grant proposals, The Data Management Planning Tool (DMPTool) provides funder-based templates for creating a data management plan. Use it on your own, or contact your Subject Liaison to consult on specifics.

  • Research Computing is happy to consult on equipment needs, and can assist in creating the technology budget for grant applications.

  • If your data falls under HIPAA regulations or might otherwise be considered sensitive, please consult campus IT Security in setting up your research computers and file storage system.

  • We can work with you one-on-one to provide guidance on file naming strategies or other practices that ensure the organization and integrity of your data.  Having these in place before research begins saves time and effort.  Consult your Subject Liaison.

Data Collection
  • Contact your Subject Liaison to assist you in locating datasets or other resources needed to begin your research.

  • Subject Liaisons are happy to assist in the selection of Electronic Lab Notebooks or consult on other data collection and management tools.

  • Many data formats have certain file types that are better for long-term use of the data, and others that are less stable.  Often these fall into open vs. proprietary file types.  Subject Liaisons are happy to work with you to choose stable file types for the longevity of your data.
Short Term Data Storage & File Sharing
  • Campus research storage shares are available in multi-TB size.  Contact Research Computing for provisioning.

  • Brandeis also offers institutional accounts to Box, a secure cloud storage solution.  Research Computing is happy to do demos or training on using Box.

  • Research Computing is available to consult on external hard drive and private file server selection, or other on-site storage solutions.

  • For all Brandeis storage solutions, levels of access can be set to restrict sensitive files to only the researchers with appropriate permissions.  Please consult Research Computing.
Data Study & Analysis
Data Publishing & Reuse
  • Open Access, author’s rights, the Brandeis Institutional Repository, and more topics are covered in our Scholarly Communications site.  If the information available does not answer all of your questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Scholarly Communications Librarian.

  • Librarians can assist you in identifying an appropriate online data repository for your research, and assisting in applying appropriate metadata to your dataset to make it more widely useable by other researchers.  Please contact your Subject Liaison.

  • Your Subject Liaison can also assist in obtaining DOIs for datasets posted online.  Digital object Identifiers make your research more discoverable, stable, and citable.
Long Term Data Storage
  • If your data are stored in proprietary, outdated, or compressed formats, there is risk that your data will not be readable in the future.  Research Computing can work with you to identify and convert unstable formats to highly stable formats.

  • Records Management can work with you to determine how long you are required to keep your data after your research has concluded.

  • Research Computing will work with you to create preservation solutions for data post-research.