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Practical Data Management ACRL DCIG Webinar 30 April 2014 Kristin Briney, PhD.

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1 Practical Data Management ACRL DCIG Webinar 30 April 2014 Kristin Briney, PhD

2 andrius.v, (CC BY-NC-SA)

3 Mr.TinDC, (CC BY-ND)

4 International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (CC BY-NC) Musgo Dumio_Momio, (CC BY-NC-SA)

5 Jen Doty and Rob O'Reilly, “Learning to Curate @ Emory”. RDAP 2014

6 Data Management Basics Introduction to a few topics in data management – File organization and naming – Documentation – Storage and backups – Future file usability

7 Data Management Basics Introduction to a few topics in data management – File organization and naming – Documentation – Storage and backups – Future file usability  Teach & Use

8 For each minute of planning at beginning of a project, you will save 10 minutes of headache later


10 File Organization What? – Keeping your files in order

11 File Organization Why? – Easier to find and use data – Tell, at a glance, what is done and what you have yet to do – Can still find and use files in the future

12 File Organization When? – Always! – Get in the habit of putting files in the right place

13 File Organization How? – Any system is better than none – Make your system logical for your data 80/20 Rule – Possibilities By project By analysis type By date …

14 Example Thesis – By chapter By file type (draft, figure, table, etc.) Data – By researcher By analysis type – By date

15 File Naming Conventions What? – Consistent naming for files

16 in-coding/

17 File Naming Conventions Why? – Make it easier to find files – Avoid duplicates – Make it easier to wrap up a project because you know which files belong to it

18 File Naming Conventions When? – For a group of related files (3 to 1000+) – May need different conventions for different groups

19 File Naming Conventions How? – Pick what is most important for your name Date Site Analysis Sample Short description

20 File Naming Conventions How? – Files should be named consistently – Files names should be descriptive but short (<25 characters) – Use underscores instead of spaces – Avoid these characters: “ / \ : * ? ‘ [ ] & $ – Use the dating convention: YYYY-MM-DD

21 Example YYYYMMDD_site_sampleNum – 20140422_PikeLake_03 – 20140424_EastLake_12 Analysis-sample-concentration – UVVis-stilbene-10mM – IR-benzene-pure


23 What would someone unfamiliar with your data need in order to find, evaluate, understand, and reuse them?

24 Documentation Why? – Data without notes are unusable – Because you won’t remember everything – For others who may need to use your files

25 Documentation When? – Always – Documentation needs will vary between files

26 Documentation How? – Take good notes – Metadata schemas

27 Documentation How? – Methods Protocols Code Survey Codebook Data dictionary Anything that lets someone reproduce your results

28 Documentation How? – Templates Like structured metadata but easier Decide on a list of information before you collect data – Make sure you record all necessary details – Takes a few minutes upfront, easy to use later Print and post in prominent place or use as worksheet

29 Example I need to collect: – Date – Experiment – Scan number – Powers – Wavelengths – Concentration (or sample weight) – Calibration factors, like timing and beam size

30 Documentation How? – README.txt For digital information, address the questions – “What the heck am I looking at?” – “Where do I find X?” Use for project description in main folder Use to document conventions Use where ever you need extra clarity

31 Example Project-wide README.txt – Basic project information Title Contributors Grant info etc. – Contact information for at least one person – All locations where data live, including backups

32 Example “Talk_v1: rough outline of talk Talk_v2: draft of talk Talk_v3: updated 2014-01-15 after feedback” “ ‘Data’ folder contains all raw data files by date ‘Analysis’ has analyzed data and plots ‘Paper’ has drafts of article on this work”


34 Storage Why? – Need good storage practices to prevent loss – Keep data secure

35 Storage How? – Library motto: Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe! – Rule of 3: 2 onsite, 1 offsite

36 Storage How? – Computer – External hard drive – Shared drives/servers – Tape backup – Cloud storage* – CDs/DVDs – USB flash drive Erica Wheelan, (CC BY)

37 *Cloud Storage Read the Terms of Service! Eg. Google Drive – “When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones”

38 Backups

39 Backups How? – Any backup is better than none – Automatic backup is better than manual – Your work is only as safe as your backup plan

40 Backups How? – Check your backups Backups only as good as ability to recover data Test your backups periodically – Preferably a fixed schedule – 1 or 2 times a year may be enough – Bigger/more complex backups should be checked more often Test your backup whenever you change things

41 Example I keep my data – On my computer – Backed up manually on shared drive I set a weekly reminder to do this – Backed up automatically via SpiderOak cloud storage


43 Future File Usability What? – Can you read your files from 10 years ago? – Data needs to be Accessible Interpretable Readable

44 lukasbenc, (CC BY-NC-SA)

45 Future File Usability Why? – You may want to use the data in 5 years – PI sometimes keeps data and notes – Prep for data sharing – Per OMB Circular A-110, must retain data at least 3 years post-project Better to retain for >6 years

46 Future File Usability When? – When you wrap up a project – (As you work on a project)

47 Future File Usability How? – Back up written notes People always forget this one Difficult to interpret data without notes Options – Digitally scan (recommended with digital data) – Photocopies

48 Future File Usability How? – Convert file formats Can you open digital files from 10 years ago? Use open, non-proprietary formats that are in wide use –.docx .txt –.xlsx .csv –.jpg .tif Save a copy in the old format, just in case Preserve software if no open file format

49 Future File Usability How? – Move to new media Hardware dies and becomes obsolete – Floppy disks! Expect average lifetime to be 3-5 years Keep up with technology


51 Center for Teaching Vanderbilt University, (CC BY-NC)

52 easylocum, (CC BY)

53 Chris Hoving, (CC BY-ND)

54 Resources Data Ab Initio blog – eScience Portal – DataONE Best Practices –

55 Steal My Slides Slides + recording available – Slides available –

56 Thank You! This presentation available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license Some content courtesy of Dorothea Salo – cher-central/proposal-development/data-plan/boot- camp/ (CC BY)

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