All Kinds of Data…One Way to Manage it!
Research is a core part of the scientific process and the progress and dissemination of knowledge. Data generated through research activity is important in advancing scientific knowledge and solving real-world challenges. Different types of research data may have different characteristics and are collected through different methods, including observational, experimental, simulation, derived, compiled, and many others. But regardless of data type, they must all be securely managed and shared. The importance of secure sharing cannot be overemphasized, especially with the increasing volume and complexity of research data as well as the importance of maintaining data integrity, security, and privacy.
Sharing of Research Data Must be Done Securely
But, sharing research data also poses significant challenges, such as protecting data privacy, ensuring data security, and avoiding data misuse. To address these challenges, researchers and institutions must adopt practices for data sharing throughout the entire data lifecycle.
This requires researchers and research-intensive institutions to address all steps in the data management lifecycle including:
The goal should always be to ensure that data is managed securely, efficiently, and in compliance with legal and ethical regulations. Researchers will always need to communicate the value and impact of their data-sharing efforts to their stakeholders. The challenge often is in the emphasis on secure data storage but leaving other aspects such as dissemination, retention, and archiving to less secure and more ad-hoc methods and practices.
Bottom Line - Research data must always be handled with the same degree of rigor throughout the full data management lifecycle to ensure the secure sharing of that data. This is critical to promoting scientific collaboration, reproducibility, and accelerating scientific discovery and innovation. Tools that support the adoption of best practices for data sharing and support principal investigators in complying with relevant legal and ethical regulations, can maximize the value and impact of their research efforts and protect the reputation of researchers and their institutions.