Below follow two checklists, one for individual researchers and one for research teams:

Individual Researcher Checklist#

  • Do not touch the raw data. Back it up somewhere reasonable and keep a read-only copy (see Data Storage and Organisation).

  • Set up a Data Management Plan to decide how the data is managed. This is especially relevant if you collect sensitive data and need to plan for consent for sharing!

  • Document everything and keep the documentation with the data (see Documentation and Metadata) to ensure your data is reusable.

  • Try not to re-invent the wheel. Before you start creating a new schema, storage format or naming protocol, try to find an existing tool: have a (quick) internet search or ask your colleagues (see Documentation and Metadata).

Something that is already being used is likely to be better in the long run.

  • Follow any procedures required by your research group, institute, or country (ethics, integrity codes, policies on data management/open science)

See also the Harvard checklist.

Research Team Checklist:#

This list is based on Borghi and van Gulick 2022 [BVG22].

Discuss the checklist with your team!

  • Every member of the research team is able to find and use the data, code, documentation and other materials related to this project (project’s research materials).

    • We will continue to do so ten years from now.

    • Our documentation is maintained and reviewed regularly.

    • The documentation describes the data management practices of the project and includes roles and responsibilities of individual team members

  • We have established on/off boarding procedures.

  • Another researcher from outside the research group but in the same field would be able to find and use the project’s research materials.

  • We have a standardised set of data management practices, including file naming conventions and folder structures (see Data Storage and Organisation).

  • The data is stored and backed up on recommended data storage systems.

  • We reviewed all applicable policies (institution, funder, potential publisher).

  • We have read through and understand other relevant agreements, licenses, or other requirements.

  • We have sought out community standards and best practices related to our data.

  • We have set up a Data Management Plan to help us decide what research objects will be made publicly available.