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Create, manage, and document your data storage system

Data files should be managed to avoid disorder. To facilitate access to files, all storage devices, locations and access accounts should be documented and accessible to team members. Use appropriate tools, such as version control tools, to keep track of the history of the data files. This will help with maintaining files in different locations, such as at multiple off-site backup locations or servers.

Define roles and assign responsibilities for data management

In addition to the primary researcher(s), there might be others involved in the research process that take part in aspects of data management. By clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved, data are more likely to be available for use by the primary researchers and anyone re-using the data. Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined, rather than assumed; this is especially important for collaborative projects that involve many researchers, institutions, and/or groups.

Examples of roles in data management:

Plan for effective multimedia management

Multimedia data present unique challenges for data discovery, accessibility, and metadata formatting and should be thoughtfully managed. Researchers should establish their own requirements for management of multimedia during and after a research project using the following guidelines. Multimedia data includes still images, moving images, and sound. The Library of Congress has a set of web pages discussing many of the issues to be considered when creating and working with multimedia data. Researchers should consider quality, functionality and formats for multimedia data.

Provide budget information for your data management plan

As a best practice, one must first acknowledge that the process of managing data will incur costs. Researchers should plan to address these costs and the allocation of resources in the early planning phases of the project. This best practice focuses on data management costs during the life cycle of the project, and does not aim to address costs of data beyond the end of the project.

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