Report on current data management practices

Article dated: 6 August 2010

A report on current data management practices in the social sciences community has been published by the Research Data Management Support Services team at the UK Data Archive. Evidence for this report was gathered amongst researchers funded by the ESRC in its various investments. managing data

Both the interdisciplinary Rural Economy and Land Use programme (Relu) and the longitudinal qualitative Timescapes programme were evaluated. These programmes both place a special emphasis on data sharing which requires good data management practices. Data management practices were also evaluated in a selection of ESRC research centres by interviews with directors and researchers. Data for individual research awards were compiled from various sources of information gathered by the Economic and Social Data Service.

All these research investments are bound by the ESRC data policy, which means that data need to be made available for archiving and for re-use by the wider research community when research projects end. This makes managing such research data well an important issue.

By showing the diversity of data management approaches within the evaluated investments the report provides important evidence for the development of future data management planning strategies.