Upskilling at Essex: how to manage data

Article dated: 15 December 2010

While most researchers learn about collecting and analysing data, they rarely think about how to run and manage larger data collection projects. students at Essex

The UK Data Archive is addressing these needs through a series of events for students, lecturers and researchers on our home campus, the University of Essex.

Archive staff invited all new first-year Ph.D. students to a drop-in session showcasing the data we hold and the training and support available.

In addition, two new data training events are now part of the University's Continuous Professional Development staff programme: Who owns your research data? and Looking after your research data.

These events form part of the Archive's ESRC Researcher Development Initiative grant that provides practical training and training materials for students, researchers and support staff on key issues pertinent to managing and sharing social science research data.

Training focuses on all aspects of data handling, an area of need recognised across the UK, and concentrates on the skills that are vital for the practices of both primary data collection and secondary analysis:

  • why and how to share research data
  • ethics, consent and confidentialitywhen sharing research data
  • data copyright and the use of existing data resources
  • data description, contextualisation and documentation
  • data formats, software and data storage, back-up and security

We are pleased that these awarenessraising and skill-building events will become part of mainstream training.