UTS Library

Data Management

The Library can provide assistance and support in managing your research data and using Stash, the UTS data management planning tool. We can also provide guidance for depositing your data in an archive.

Managing your data

Data Management Planning is a very important part of research. The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and several international funding bodies require that researchers adequately plan for their data. At UTS, we also have a Vice Chancellor's Directive, outlining the responsibilities of researchers.

There are also a number of benefits for you as the researcher. 

  • Efficiency - less time spent trying to understand your filing system - more time you can spend on reearch
  • safety - protects your valuable data
  • Quality - ensures your data is accurate and authentic
  • Reproducibility - enables easy validation and verification of results
  • Reputation - sharing and archiving data enchances research visibility and provides opportunities for collaboration

'Stash' your stuff

The VC's Directive requires that researchers create a Data Management Plan (DMP) for their projects, to be lodged with RIO. A DMP notifies UTS and funding agencies (for example, the ARC) about your intentions for your research data. Since these details may change during the course of your project, a DMP should be regarded as a 'living document' of which there are likely to be at least two versions - one at project commencement and an updated one at project completion.

A DMP details the five Ws and one H of the research data.

  1. Why is it? (what is the research project?)
  2. What is it? (formats, approx size, collection or generation method, etc)
  3. Who is responsible for it and who owns it?
  4. Where is it (including backups)?
  5. Whether it will be made accessible for reuse, and if so how, when and by whom?
  6. How long should it be kept?

The easiest way to complete a DMP is by using Stash, the university's data management planning tool. Once you have completed a DMP in Stash, you can attach descriptive data records. Data records in Stash are 'catalogue' records. That is, they give some minimal details about the data and record its location (they can also link directly to the data if you prefer). Your data records can be kept private, shared only with specified UTS researchers, or you can elect to publicise or publish your data on the Australian National Data Commons Research Data Australia.

More information on using Stash is available from StaffConnect (UTS login required). 

Data Management Planning Training

The Library provides Data Management Planning training and workshops, and can organise inidividual research consultations for you, your team or school. 

Data Storage

Proper storage of your research data is essential to ensure its safety and security. UTS has a range of storage solutions for your research data, but we recommend CloudStor (AARNET), a web-based tool that is designed for storing up to 100GB of working data. UTS staff and higher degree research students can automatically access and use Cloudstor using their UTS login.

If you think your project has substantial or specialised storage requirements, you can discuss these with the Research Support team in ITD. 

Further information: 

  • The UTS eResearch Team have an extensive suite of services and resources for Research Data Management. Details are available in Staff Connect (Restricted access: UTS staff and higher degree research students).
  • University of Edinburgh's Data Management Training (MANTRA): A comprehensive training resource for Data Management Planning, including software like SPSS and NVivo. 

Sharing your data

There are many benefits to sharing research data, either during a project with your collaborators, or after a project with other researchers interested in building on your work. As well as increasing your network of potential collaborators, making data available to other researchers to use (and cite) can increase the ongoing impact and influence of your research in the same way your publications do.

You can share your research data by depositing it with a data archive, generally with negotiated access conditions, meaning you retain control over how your data is used. Or, if you don't want to deposit your data with an archive, you could also choose to simply make a description about your data collections available through Research Data Australia (RDA), a national data discovery service. Other researchers can search RDA and then contact you if they are interested in knowing more about your data. Library staff can provide you with guidance and advice on sharing your data through either an archive or RDA.

Respecting your data sources

Consideration for research ethics, participant consent, and data confidentiality should be woven throughout the research project's lifecycle – from project planning, data collection and analysis, through to publication and archiving.

The Library can provide guidance and advice on things like including statements about data sharing and archiving in your participant information and consent forms and how to make data anonymous for archiving, if required.

ADA and ATSIDA

UTS Library is the national node for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Archive (ATSIDA) and the NSW node for the Australian Data Archive (ADA) - a collaborative venture across Australian institutions.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss how to access or deposit data with ADA or ATSIDA.

  

Related Questions

2 answers|24 votes|41597 views|Mei-kin Li asked about Data Management 5 years ago
2 answers|19 votes|829 views|Cynthia asked about Data Management 3 months ago