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Library Services



Research Data Management

A guide to managing outputs of research projects and handling issues such as copyright and data protection laws

Best Practices & FAIR data

It can be challenging to know how best to manage data, especially when a single project might produce multiple fomats. Data is easily lost, digital files are fragile, and formats and storage media become obsolete.

FAIR data is an initiative and a set of guidelines based on encouraging data sharing in the most effective possible way. Since merely making some raw data available does not guarantee other people will be able to use it, the FAIR data principles encourage sharing data using data repositories and with good quality documentation.

The FAIR acronym stands for:

  • Findable
  • Accessible
  • Interoperable
  • Reusable

Documentation & Metadata

Sensible file names and a well-organised folder structures makes it easier to find and keep track of data files. Links to relevant advice and resources provided by the UK Data Service are outlined below.

  • UK Data Service table of file formats recommended and accepted by them for data sharing, reuse and preservation.

It is important to ensure that different copies or versions of files, files held in different formats or locations, and information that is cross-referenced between files are all subject to version control. Guidance on version control and authenticity is available from the UK Data Archive.