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Managing your research data in psychology – an introduction Stephen Grace and John Murtagh.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing your research data in psychology – an introduction Stephen Grace and John Murtagh."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing your research data in psychology – an introduction Stephen Grace and John Murtagh

2 Contents 1.What is research data? 2.Why is it important now? 3.Research verification 4.Research data loss 5.Data protection, rights & access 6.What next?

3 1. What is research data? The material underpinning a research assertion Not just numbers, not just digital Anything that leads to publication Anything that supports conclusions Research as practice in performance/ creative arts Data from lab instruments and lab notebooks Observations, surveys, archival sources Audio, video, physical objects, even paper

4 Discussion point: What is your research? What is research data for you?

5 What is data management? Looking after data throughout the data lifecycle from conception to death lifecycle Good documentation and record-keeping Keeping data safe and possibly confidential Transfer of responsibility after project ends Access, preservation and re-use Destruction Ultimately: Its just good research practice

6 2. Why is it important (now)?

7 Funders want wider access to research they paid for – starting to demand access legal/overview-funders-data-policies

8 Universities need to look after their research data assets

9 Data underpins publications Growing interest in publishing data papers which can be cited in a similar method to normal papers via Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) DataCite ( creates DOIs for research Such papers describe what the data is, how it was collected, methodology, variables, suggested reuse and a link to the actual data Get academic credit for sharing data

10 Open data journals Journal of Open Archaeology Data Journal of Open Public Health Data Journal of Open Research Software

11 Deposit somewhere else The EPSRC and NERC require that all research publications include a statement on how the supporting data can be accessed. Repositories such as Protein Data Bank, EuropePMC and DRYAD are accepting data related to publicationsDRYAD Research Data Repositories for psychology: PsychData Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES) National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

12 Funder policies on your data Both the ESRC and the NERC could withhold the final grant payment if data are not properly managed and offered for deposit. The BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, NERC and the Wellcome Trust state that costs associated with data management and sharing can be included in grant proposals. Secondary Data Analysis Initiative - ESRC funding of £10.8m for reusing existing data sets.

13 The data lifecycle - Benefits Image from Journal of Open Psychology Data

14 3. Research integrity –Verification of science –Prevention/detection of fraud

15 Verification of science research Movement for greater openness to advance science and society The British Medical Journals open data campaign aims to achieve independent scrutiny of data from clinical trials. we seek to highlight the problems caused by lack of access to data, and we welcome any suggestions on how to take things further. MPs call for Commons committee to examine cost to NHS of missing data in publications. December 2012

16 Prevention/detection of fraud

17 Data fraud cases in psychology Dirk Smeesters – Erasmus Univeristy social psychologist –Found to have cherry-picked the data to produce statistically significant results in articles –retracts two studies, resigns post Dirk Stapel – Dutch Social psychologist –fabricated research data. 55 papers and 10 supervised dissertations investigated

18 Prevention/detection of fraud

19 Stapel data fraud case - report 103 page report by three Dutch universities Stapel fabricated data in 55 articles and book chapters. So far, 45 (30 January 2013) have been retracted. 10 dissertations by students Stapel supervised were found to contain fraudulent data. –The Stapel group had no protocols for, for example, the collection of data (including standards for questionnaires) or research reports. The PhD students in Mr Stapels group were not familiarized with fixed and clear standards.P. 42 –Stapel personally taught his departments scientific ethics course. A damning assessment of the discipline itself referring to a failure to meet normal standards of methodology. [bringing] into the spotlight a research culture in which… sloppy science, alongside out-and-out fraud, was able to remain undetected for so long. P. 5

20 The field of psychology has come under particular scrutiny because many results in the scientific literature defy replication by other researchers. psychology has come under particular scrutiny

21 Discussion point: Are you aware of these fraud cases? How does it affect you, and psychology? Do things need to change?

22 4. Research data loss December 2012 Laptop containing Trophic ecologist s vast amount of experimental data from tracked fish (cost $50,000 CND). The laptop was left by a graduate student in the backseat of a car parked outside a downtown restaurant.Someone broke in to the car and stole it. Unfortunately none of the data had been backed up yet. If we dont get this laptop back, that data is lost forever.

23 Data loss will happen to you …Theft of equipment Dropping your laptop Hard drive failures Obsolescence/upgrades Poorly described data (metadata) Overwriting data/versioning Media degradation (CDRs, memory sticks, SSDs)

24 Dont just blame technology! People move on Research trends (follow the money consequences)

25 Discussion Point Has this happened to you? What lessons have you learnt? –E.g. have you changed where youve saved your data? Yes/No?

26 5. Data protection, rights & access Data Protection Act (1998) versus Freedom of Information Act (2000) Open Data versus confidentiality

27 What is personal data? The Data Protection Act covers any data about a living and identifiable individual. As a psychologist it may not always be obvious that you are collecting personal data. For example, if you run a traditional experiment and you store the names of participants then you need to comply with the requirements of the act. Whereas if you anonymise data you will not be storing personal data about a living individual, e.g. use ID numbers for participant data. In short there should be no way of identifying a unique individual from the data you hold or the way it is coded, e.g. dont use DOBs as part of ID numbers. Different rules apply within clinical settings. For more information you are advised to contact the relevant person within your department, your institutions data custodian, or in NHS settings the Caldicott Guardian. © University of Sheffield

28 Anonymisation of data…

29 Freedom of Information Act (2000) The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of public access to all types of "recorded" information held by public authorities, sets out exemptions from that general right, and places a number of obligations on public authorities. The Act sets out to promote greater openness and accountability. It covers around 100,000 public authorities such as central government, local government, further and higher education, the police and the NHS.

30 What a FoI request means Requests for information made under the Act must be in writing (includes ). Requests must be dealt with promptly within a maximum time frame of 20 working days. In responding to a request for information, authorities will be obliged to provide information or say why they are rejecting the request. Contact Compliance Officer for UEL at (see handout for examples)

31 Discussion Point: To share or not to share? What concerns do you have? Especially dealing with children.

32 6. What next? Weekly online learning modules you work through at your own pace Five modules –Research Data Explained –Organising Data –Documentation and Metadata –Storage and Security –Data Protection, rights and access Final meeting to review, share your needs and experiences

33 What is the TraD project? Embedding good RDM practice at UEL –Training doctoral students in Psychology & workshop for staff 13 th March –Training taught students in Geo-informatics –Generic workshop in Graduate School –Training course for liaison librarians Create, deliver and evaluate materials Adopt into curricula and training programmes

34 The project team can help you We can help when you write your Data Management Plans needed by funders Put plans in place to help existing projects Help you manage/describe/share (if appropriate) your data more effectively Give advice and signposts with your own data needs and questions

35 Thank you Stephen Grace, Ext 7858 John Murtagh, Ext 6467 Find us at Blog at

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