Research data management

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Anyone at SOAS who undertakes or supports research activity at the School should make sure they are familiar with our SOAS Research Data Management Policy (PDF).

Developing structured plans and then sharing your research data is becoming more common. These pages include general information and practical tips that will help you manage your data during your research project.

It will prepare you to meet institutional and funder requirements for data management, as well as ensure you handle your data in line with data protection legislation.

We also include some external resources which are a great introduction to research data management and sharing.

Key external resources

  • JISC Research Data Management Toolkit – Clear and accessible guidance on various aspects of research data management. Includes links to many other resources and training sites for further support and information.
  • UK Data Archive Website – Excellent information and guidance about best practice in data management throughout the research cycle. It is an especially useful resource for any researcher in the social sciences.
  • UK Data Service – Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), this trusted site provides guidance and training for the development of skills in data use, and advocates best practice data preservation and sharing standards. Contains helpful tools and templates.
  • Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data) – A comprehensive overview of international data repositories.
  • Research Data Management and Sharing Free Online Course – Sign up for this free MOOC run by experts from the Digital Curation Centre and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for a great introduction to research data management.
  • Mantra Research Data Management and Training – A complete online training resource for different levels of researcher, from graduate researcher to senior academic.

Before your research

SOAS encourages all researchers and students who collect research data as part of their work or studies to think about data management planning both before, during and at the end of projects.

Here are a selection of resources which we recommend you take a look at:

During your research

Good practice in data management during your research project has a number of benefits: it enables you to find and work with your own research data efficiently; protects against loss of research data; helps prepare your data for long-term archiving; makes meeting any funder requirement for data sharing easier.

You should review your data management plan at the start of your research or on receipt of any external funding so you can seek advice, get training and support and set-up the processes you need for good data management.

Check our Quick Guide for Managing Research Data (PDF) for information and advice on:

  • file naming
  • organising research data
  • versioning
  • recommended file formats
  • backup and storage of research data
  • describing and documenting your research data

Contact outputs@soas.ac.uk if you would like to set up a dedicated meeting or training for your funded project or if you need advice before you start collecting research data.

After your research

Working with personal data

If the research data you collect contains information that can identify living individuals or other information that is sensitive for political or commercial reasons etc. you need to ensure that you collect, use, store and transport it in line with the law and according to the consent you have collected from research participants.