1. Preparing a DMP
2. Documenting and Organizing Data
3. Storing Data and Data Security
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Why Document Your Data?

John MacInnes, professor of Sociology of the University of Edinburgh, explains why it is necessary to document each step of your research and how this will benefit you in the long term.

Indeed, the importance of documenting your data during the collection and analysis phase of your research cannot be overestimated.

While collecting and analysing, you may be on intimate terms with your dataset. However, remembering that the variable sgimemgp means single member of group can become difficult months or years later. The same goes for the exact procedure you used to transform or derive particular variables.

Here are the main reasons why you want to document your data, and document it well:

  • Recall the FAIR Data guidelines
  • Enables you to understand/interpret data later
  • Make data independently understandable i.e. reusable
  • Make results independently reproducible, starting from raw data
  • Helps avoid incorrect use/misinterpretation

As rule of thumb, if you want to know what to document, ask yourself what any user would need to know to make sense of your data.