There is so much content on the www! I find it hard to recall that 20 years ago this was unthinkable (or at least not yet implemented). With the advent of technological advances, research has also changed from local to more global. Researchers want to share their amazing results in nice papers, but society demands more insight into scientific methods and access to the data. Although this sounds amazing, there are many hurdles that have to be taken. Below are some links to sites that offer insight into procedures and laws that should make “science-sharing” more feasible.
Sites related to data management
YODA – The acronym comes from YOuth DAta, as it was initiated by the YOUth study (see below). YODA has grown tremendously over the past few years. The YODA team now offers a research data management service that enables researchers from Utrecht University, their partners and researchers from other institutes to securely deposit, share, publish and preserve large amounts of research data during all stages of a research project.
YOUth cohort study – this large-scale study follows the development of two cohorts of children in the province of Utrecht. This study aims to share all its methods and data with researchers, so that the data are used optimally. This offers many data-management challenges we had to overcome in the past few years. I was involved in thie study both as a researcher and in managing the data flow.
Meta-data – making your data accesible means more than sharing it: you need to describe the data in terms that can be universally understood. Such descriptions are commonly referred to as meta-data. These meta-data typically not only include information about the data but also about the methodolody and/or equipment (hardware/software) that was used to gather the data. In trying to set up adequate meta-data schemes for the YOUth data was challenging but fun!
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) – this website of the International DOI foundation provides information regarding the DOI system: a technical and social infrastructure for the registration and use of persistent interoperable identifiers, called DOIs, for use on digital networks. It is not only used for papers, but can added to all sorts of (meta-)data. In that way, people using data can always cite the source.
Nationaal Programma Open Science – Open science is the practising of science in a sustainable manner which gives others the opportunity to work with, contribute to and make use of the scientific process. This allows users ‘from outside of the science world’ to influence the research world with questions and ideas and help gather research data. I made my own little Open Science page (click here) just to get some hands-on experience with the issues. And to store my own data in a way I myself can still retrieve after many years.
Research Lifecycle Guide – Research data has a longer lifespan than the project. The research data lifecycle is a model that illustrates the stages of data management and describes how data flow through a research project from start to finish. Data management refers to the process of deciding and documenting how data will be collected, organized, stored and shared. This website by Princeton University offers a lot of information regarding research lifecycle.