Reasons to Manage Your Data
- Meet grant requirements: Many funding agencies now require that researchers write a data management plan. These plans are peer-reviewed as part of the grant process, and a good data management plan may increase a researcher's chances at getting funded. Proper execution of the steps proposed in a management plan may increase a researcher's chances at getting his grant renewed.
- Increase your research efficiency: Have you ever had a hard time understanding the data that you or your colleagues have collected? Documenting your data throughout its life cycle saves time because it ensures that in the future you and others will be able to understand and use your data.
- Ensure data integrity: Managing and documenting your data throughout its life cycle ensures that the integrity and proper description of your data are maintained.
- Preserve your data: Only by depositing your data in a repository can you be sure that they will be available to you and other researchers in the long-term. Doing so safeguards your investment of time and resources (including any work done for you by graduate students) and preserves your unique contribution to research.
- Simplify your life: Enabling a repository to house and disseminate your data lets you focus on your research rather than responding to requests or worrying about data that may be housed on your web site.
Reasons to Publish Your Data
- Increase the visibility of your research: Making your data available to other researchers through widely-searched repositories can increase your prominence and demonstrate continued use of the data and relevance of your research.
- Facilitate new discoveries: Enabling other researchers to use your data reinforces open scientific inquiry and can lead to new and unanticipated discoveries. And doing so prevents duplication of effort by enabling others to use your data rather than trying to gather the data themselves.
- Meet grant requirements: Many funding agencies now require that researchers deposit in an archive data which they collect as part of a research project. SPARC has a wonderful online resource for checking Federal Funding Agency data sharing requirements. http://datasharing.sparcopen.org/