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Managing Your Research Data

Tips & tools to help you manage your research data with less stress


Whether you are writing up your analyses for a class paper, a capstone or thesis project, a dissertation, or a publication, these are useful tips to help you answer any questions that your instructor, advisors, or peer reviewers may have. Chances are, you won't remember exactly what you did by the time you get comments back, so good notes can save you lots of time and stress.

  • Use your notes to write a detailed summary of your methods for data collection, screening, processing, and analysis in as much detail as possible. Write it up without worrying about length or format. Then write the condensed summary in the format required for your paper, report, or publication.
  • Take detailed notes for every table or figure created, specifically describe what data were used to create them and procedures for handling missing data or other issues that came up during screening and processing.

There are many standards and guidelines for reporting research methods. The fastest way to find out what is expected for your work is to talk to your faculty advisor or supervisor.