Module 1: Understanding Data
Module 1: Understanding Data
Why is Data Management important? It's true that historians don't tend to think of their research in terms of 'data' unless we are talking about statistics, yet 'data' is really what the study of History is all about. We use different terminology and, often, think of our work in different terms. Yet, the research process is all about gathering 'data', analysing that data, and then coming to conclusions from it.
We asked this question to historians at the University of Sheffield and University of Hull and this is what they had to say.
As noted in the video the title 'data management' is often unhelpful but the process of managing your research project efficiently is considered vital to the success of a project.
In this short tutorial we will show you how to construct a plan to manage your research data, specifically tailored to your own research project. This is a document that you can take away with you and implement immediately as part of a well-organised, efficient and hopefully exciting research project.
The tutorial is ideal for students just starting out on postgraduate study or for early career researchers who are now looking to re-purpose their original research for new studies.
Each module takes a different aspect of data management as its core focus and approximately correspond to where in the research process you will need to consider these issues seriously. These are:
Module 1 Understanding Data
Module 2 Managing Data
Module 3 Sharing Data
The primary output from completing this tutorial will be a completed Data Management Plan which you can use throughout your research and as a means of documentation.
We will also show you how you might wish to set up a folder structure and provide proper documentation to files. We will explain the purpose of good management and preservation.
The tutorial is set up in a linier fashion allowing you to run through data management issues from beginning to end of a project, however not everyone will want to do this, or need to cover every aspect. Therefore the tutorial also allows for a more fluid entrance. An interactive version of the data management plan provides an alternative approach allowing you to dip in to the information most useful and interesting to you. This can be found from the left hand menu.
In essence we want this tutorial to be useful to you in a practical sense. We want you to come away with something substantial which will help you to organise and manage substantial and smaller research projects. We wish you luck.
Each module can be accessed from the left-hand menu. Each module is divided into sub-sections. You can easily access these in order by scrolling down the page or via the menu. Course material can also be accessed through the interactive version of the data management plan (on the second left-hand menu - Additional Content). We will talk more about this later on in this first module.
We recommend that you complete (or at least scan through) all of module 1 as this module sets up the basic premise for this course.
Videos provide complementary advice and guidance from experts in the field but are not requirements to completing the course.
If you would like to learn more about the people behind this tutorial and the experts that appear in the videos please check out the 'about' page also available from the left-hand menu. In addition we have prepared a guide for teachers if they wish to introduce these resources to students in the classroom.