Concordia Library provides grad students and faculty valuable data management resources

Guides and other tools promote best practices by major Canadian and international granting agencies
November 27, 2020
By Leslie Goldstein


While not all graduate students and faculty may be aware, the Concordia Library offers many resources and tools on its website to help manage research data.

These materials range from research data management guides to the Concordia University Dataverse. There is much information available to ensure that research data is well planned and conducted and properly stored for long-term preservation, even after the research has ended.

What is data management and why is it important? It’s the storage, access and preservation of data produced during research. Practicing effective data management ensures that data collected today is used efficiently and remains operational over time.

“There are other key benefits to effectively managing your research data,” says Jared Wiercinski, associate university librarian, research and graduate studies.

“Researchers depositing data collected as part of a research project meet the growing requirements of many funding agencies and journals. Managing and documenting your data collected throughout its life cycle helps maintain data integrity and facilitates its use in the future.”

These are some examples of how effective research data management practices can yield positive results throughout the research project lifecycle.

Tri-Agency support for data management

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) promote and support research, research training, knowledge transfer and innovation within Canada. These agencies recognize that research data management is necessary at all stages of the research project lifecycle.

The three funding bodies have published a draft Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy. In it, they encourage researchers to complete data management plans and require researchers to share their data at the end of their projects.

There are several international funding agencies that also require a data management plan and/or data sharing as integral components of a grant application.

The launch of the Canadian Tri-Agency policy has been postponed due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, once launched, the funding agencies will continue to collaborate with the research community to implement the policy requirements in a phased approach.

Now is the time for graduate students and faculty members to learn more about preparing data management plans and to start actively thinking about sharing and depositing their research data.

According to CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC, the use of data management plans is becoming an international best practice and considered integral to research excellence.

Protect your research investment

Concordia faculty and graduate students have access to the DMP Assistant, a bilingual tool to help prepare data management plans. With this tool, researchers become familiar with data stewardship best practices and receive guidance about data management planning.

Faculty and graduate students can also use the Concordia University Dataverse repository, where their files or datasets are held in a secure environment on Canadian servers.

Depositing data collected as part of a research project helps protect the time and resources invested by researchers and preserves their research contribution for themselves and others to use.

The GradProSkills program is an additional resource for graduate students. Workshops such as Library Skills and Resources aim to ensure participants discover resources and research tools in key areas on the Library website that can be indispensable for graduate level research.

In the workshop, How to Prepare your Data for Publication, graduate students will learn about best practices on preparing research data for publication and choosing the best places to share data.

Using Dataverse along with the DMP Assistant and consulting the library’s research data management guide will provide faculty and graduate students with the information they need as they pursue their research projects, apply for funding and publish journal articles.

Learn more about the best practices of
research data management and the resources and tools Concordia Library has to offer.


Back to top

© Concordia University