Research Data Management

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School of Data

School of Data works to empower civil society organizations, journalists and citizens with the skills they need to use data effectively – evidence is power!

The School of Data begins with the basics and aims to get as technical as you need to get. Sometimes you may need to learn a little bit of code to really get the most out of your data and we’ll aim to teach you where to learn more by curating the best resources from around the web and filling in any gaps where required.

Data Organization in Spreadsheets

Data Carpentry offers a hands on course to learn about data organization and some practices for more effective data wrangling.

We organize data in spreadsheets in the ways that we as humans want to work with the data, but computers require that data be organized in particular ways. In order to use tools that make computation more efficient, such as programming languages like R or Python, we need to structure our data the way that computers need the data.

This lesson requires a working copy of spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel or LibreOffice or

Making Sense of Data - Google Open Online Education

Do you work with surveys, demographic information, evaluation data, test scores or observation data? What questions are you looking to answer, and what story are you trying to tell with your data?

This self-paced, online course is intended for anyone who wants to learn more about how to structure, visualize, and manipulate data. This includes students, educators, researchers, journalists, and small business owners.

Participants will be introduced to Fusion Tables. Fusion Tables is a web application that lets you gather, visualize, and share data. It allows you to build visualizations with your data - everything from maps, to charts, to graphs. No prior knowledge of Fusion Tables is required.

Click here to access the course

E-books about data cleaning

Western Sydney University staff and students have access to - an online training library that covers many software titles, scripting languages, design and web development platforms.

You will find training on data analysis tools such as SPSS, MATLAB, and Octave, a free, open-source alternative to MATLAB. Check out resources on data visualisation and database management.

Instructions for accessing the University's subscription to are available via the MyIT portal.

Research Data MANTRA online course

MANTRA is a free online course designed for researchers or others who manage digital data as part of a research project.

Through a series of interactive online units you will learn about terminology, key concepts, and best practice in research data management.

Research Data MANTRA [online course] by EDINA and Data Library, University of Edinburgh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ETD+ Toolkit

The ETD+ Toolkit is an approach to improving student and faculty research output management. Focusing on the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) as a mile-marker in a student’s research trajectory, it provides in-time advice to students and faculty about avoiding common digital loss scenarios for the ETD and all of its affiliated files.

The ETD+ Toolkit provides free introductory training resources on crucial data curation and digital longevity techniques. It has been designed as a training series to help students and faculty identify and offset risks and threats to their digital research footprints.

What it is:

An open set of six modules and evaluation instruments that prepare students to create, store, and maintain their research outputs on durable devices and in durable formats. Each is designed to stand alone; they may also be used as a series.

Directory of Research Tools

The DiRT Directory aggregates information about digital research tools for scholarly use.

The DiRT Directory makes it easy for researchers conducting digital research to find and compare resources ranging from content management systems to music OCR, statistical analysis packages to mindmapping software.


GetTheData is a Q&A site where you can ask your data related questions, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • where to find data relating to a particular issue;
  • how to query Linked Data sources to get just the data set you require;
  • what tools to use to explore a data set in a visual way;
  • how to cleanse data or get it into a format you can work with using third party visualisation or analysis tools.

To keep informed about new questions posted to the site, subscribe to the site's new questions feed or follow @dataquestions on Twitter.

Open Refine

Open Refine (formerly Google Refine) is a free, open source, powerful tool for working with messy data: cleaning it; transforming it from one format into another; and extending it with web services and external data.

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Find answers to common problems with logging into library databases here.

DataONE education modules

Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) offers education modules about data management topics such as data sharing, data entry and manipulation, and legal and policy issues. The DataONE website also contains data sharing case studies, regular webinars, and a data search facility.


The Research Bazaar (ResBaz) is a free, 3-day intensive festival and conference where researchers come together to up-skill in next generation digital research tools and scholarship. In the spirit of a marketplace or bazaar, ResBaz is a highly participatory event where researchers from many different disciplines can learn, share knowledge and skills, and have fun.
The next Research Bazaar Conference in Sydney is set for 3-5 July, 2018. Follow @ResBaz on Twitter for updates.
The RezBaz YouTube channel includes a number of playlists covering recent conferences and events.

eResearch Australasia provides opportunities for delegates to engage, connect, and share their ideas and exemplars concerning new information centric research capabilities, and how information and communication technologies help researchers to collaborate, collect, manage, share, process, analyse, store, find, understand and re-use information.

The Quartz guide to bad data

JISC Guides and Case Studies