- Create a plan. Ask questions such as
- What data will be stored? For how long?
- How much data? What is its growth rate?
- How will the data be collected, backed up, archived, migrated, etc.?
- Who is responsible for collecting, preserving, archiving, migrating, etc.?
- Who controls it (PI, student, lab, funder)? Copyright?
- Are there tools or software needed to create/process/visualize the data?
- Any special privacy or security requirements (e.g., personal data, high-security data)?
- What are funding agency requirements?
- Where will the data be disseminated?
- Determine how often data will be backed up and where it will be stored.
- Plan a directory structure and use a standard file naming conventions and use plain ASCII text. For example, “oscilloscopeDI770_20120401_jjd” which is the equipment the measurements were obtained from, the date, and initials of who collected the data. Name the directories and files whatever makes sense for the research.
- Document all data sets (e.g., describe variables, how the data was collected, on what equipment). Add metadata to data, that is data about the data.
- Use nonproprietary file formats (e.g., .txt, .csv) to store data.
- Keep an original copy of all data collected and perhaps even make it read-only. Make a copy of the original file to analyze.
(Geology and Physics),
(Biology and Chemistry), or
(Engineering) if you need further assistance.