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Research Data Management: Research Data at Western Sydney

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Research Data Management at Western Sydney University

Managing your research data is an important task which should be planned from the beginning of any research project.

Data is not just quantitative. Interview transcripts, photographs and completed surveys are considered to be research data in the same way as instrument readings, measurements and observations.

Data Management Planning

Safe storage and back up of your research data is vital to ensure its long term access, security and preservation.
In accordance with the University's Research Data Management Policy, a data management plan (see this YouTube video) should be created in the early stages of a research project.

It may also be necessary to include information about data management planning in a funding application. The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) provides a guide to filling in the data management section in ARC grant applications.

The Library's Researcher Dashboard enables the creation of shareable Research Data Management Plans which comply with the University’s RDM Policy. It provides instructions on how to obtain Western research data storage. The ‘Describe my data’ tab enables researchers to describe and send archival datasets to Library staff for uploading to ResearchDirect and Research Data Australia.

A data management plan will inform ethics applications and computing requirements. Consideration of how much and what type of data, who needs access to it, and plans for future reuse by the same team or new researchers, can lay the foundation for efficient data practices through the life of the project.

A data management plan may include details of the technology solutions which will be used in the research. The University is developing technology solutions dedicated to researchers. Check out Connect with Services to find out more about tools for analysis, collaboration and computing. If you would like further consultation on your technology options, please contact the University’s eResearch Analyst.

Data Storage

There is a difference between working storage and archival storage. Working storage is where you put the data you're working with/on. Archival storage is where you put the data that you've finished working with, at least for that project, paper or publication. The University offers both types of storage.

Working Storage

In accordance with the University's Research Data Management Policy, infrastructure is available to researchers to use as a secure platform to store and share working data. Visit the University's MyIT portal to learn more about setting up a new file share through our eResearch support partner, Intersect.

Working storage for University staff is also available from AARNET, a federally-funded academic and research company. Cloudstor offers working storage and file sharing capabilities. Cloudstor is just like Dropbox in many ways, but hosted in Australia, and with higher quotas. You may even wish to request a Group Drive from Cloudstor, with 1TB of storage.

You can choose to automatically synchronise your files with CloudStor, using the ownCloud client. When accessing CloudStor for the first time, you will be presented with the First Run wizard which will prompt you to set a sync password. This password is used for accessing CloudStor using the ownCloud sync clients. You will also be presented with the option of downloading an ownCloud sync client for your operating system. If you already use CloudStor and would like to install the sync client, please see these instructions in the University's MyIT portal.

Archival Storage

In accordance with the Open Access to Research Policy, the products and outputs of research conducted at Western Sydney University (including research data) should be appropriately archived and made openly available for re-use and citation wherever possible.

ResearchDirect is the University's Institutional Repository. It includes data that represents the inputs and outputs of research processes, or a reference to where this data is archived. Library staff will assist researchers to create accurate and complete data descriptions, which are then contributed to Research Data Australia. This increased exposure to Western Sydney University's research output may enable new collaborations and research opportunities.

To support data citation, records are created with a stable URL or DOI (digital object identifier).

To add your completed dataset to ResearchDirect, use the ‘Describe my data’ function in the Researcher Dashboard.


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Key Policies

Western Sydney University Policies

Research Data Management Policy

Open Access to Research Policy

Research Code of Practice

Intellectual Property Policy

Records and Archives Management Policy

Additional links to related policies and information are available in Section 5 of the University's Research Data Management Policy.