There are lots of resources around which can help you look after your digital research material and this page provides a gateway to some of the services that are available.
What is data?
Although there are a lot of different definitions and usages of the word 'data', a very general view would include nearly all research materials: research-related e-mails, document drafts, interviews, websites (including blogs and social media), analyses (qualitative and quantitative), footnotes, references, spreadsheets, equipment outputs, databases, artefacts, photos… If you're using something as information in your research, it's data, and it's important that you look after it.
"To write it, it took three months; to conceive it three minutes; to collect the data in it all my life."
F. Scott Fitzgerald from Author's Apology from the 3rd printing of This Side of Paradise
Over the course of your academic life it can be very easy to amass large amounts of data, particularly material in digital form, and then lose track of what you've got, why you collected it in the first place, and what you're going to do with it all. Increasing use of digital tools adds extra complexity, as you may need to deal with issues such as archiving of web-based resources, copyright and social media, or simply choosing the best file formats to use in your day-to-day work.
You might have questions about how Intellectual Property Rights (such as copyright) affect your research. You might be interested in sharing your data (maybe with colleagues, or with a wider audience by making them open access) and want some advice about the best way to go about doing this.
The Cambridge University Library Data Management webpages provide a good starting point for a range of data management issues. Some links to key areas are given at the right hand side of this page, along with useful external links.
Throughout the University there are a number of people who can provide you with advice and support:
- 01223 (3)33130
- Librarians for your department, , or college
- University Computing Service Help Desk
If you're interested in training resources, please go to the Training page of this site.