Data Management

It is important to consider research data management during the development of your clinical research proposal. Management of data is an essential part of good research practice.

Most research funders and many academic publishers now have mandates requiring research data to be properly managed and, where possible, shared. There are many things to consider, including:

Data Management Plan

The university provides a wealth of material and support to have you develop your data management plan. Planning how to manage your data from the outset of your project will make your life easier if you want to be able to reuse or share your data. Decisions you make about which software to use, how to organise, store and manage your data, and the consent agreements you negotiate, will all affect what is possible to do in the future and ensure your research will be understood by your peers.

Most funders and Lancaster University expect you to write a Data Management Plan (DMP). A DMP is part of good research practice.

Data Storage and Security

During your research project you will need to store your research data so it is secure and backed up regularly, but is easily accessible to those who are authorised.

The level of security required depends upon the nature of the data, the more personal or restricted the information is the higher the level of security needs to be. With help of the University's information classification document, you can ascertain what level of protection is required when storing information for the purpose of Information Security

Data Publishing

All research data you want to publish needs to conform to Lancaster University's Code of Practice.

A lot of data with personal or confidential information can be anonymised without compromising the value data and be shared. For example you should consider to:

  • Remove direct identifiers (e.g. personal information such as addresses)
  • Aggregate or reduce the precision of variables that might be identifiable (such as postcode).
  • Generalise text variables to reduce identifiability

Note that re-users of data have the same legal and ethical obligation to NOT disclose confidential information as primary users.

For more information contact the RDM service

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