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Data Services

Data Management Services assists Brandon researchers with the organization, management, and curation of research data to enhance its preservation and access now and into the future

Data Collection 

When writing a Data Management Plan, you will be expected to answer a number of questions related to how you will collect and organize your data. 

Below are several examples of the types of questions you will be asked.  Additional information about many of the topics is provided via links to our Best Data Handling Practices section - as well as other sections of relevance that include links to the area of the guide dealing with specific aspects of Data Collection.


What types of data will you collect, create, link to,
acquire and/or record?

  • Are there any existing data that you can reuse?




What file format(s) will the data be saved as? Will
these formats allow for data reuse, sharing and
long-term access to the data?

  • Are those file formats proprietary?
  • Open?
  • Standard for the field?
  • Will they degrade?
  • Do your chosen formats and software enable sharing and long-term access to the data?
  • Does your chosen formats facilitate reproducibility? 




Give a brief description of the data, including any existing data or third partysources  that will be used, in
each case noting its  contents, type and coverage.

Note: When gathering data from written sources, it is
helpful to provide the reader with information surrounding
the material(s) from which you will collect, as well as a few
examples of the resources you will draw upon to find those

Outline and justify your choice of format and consider the
implications of data format and data volumes in terms of 
storage, backup and access to data by team members
and later by the wider community.

Note: Define your file types/extensions, and indicate where
appropriate which programs can read these files, and
whether these programs are open or proprietary.

Note:  Access to data will need to take into account ethical 
and legal considerations
 and any funderpublisher
requirements for sharing data.  This may dictate file formats
as sharing is generally preferred.  (Proprietary file formats
pose risks in terms of long-term access. By choosing an
open format such as WAV, or by saving files in
non-proprietary formats you can reduce these risks

How much data will you collect?

  • Will the amount grow over time?
  • Will the data change over time?
  • How often will it change? 

How will the data be collected or created?

  • What standards or methodologies will you use?
  • How will you structure and name your folders and files?
  • How will you handle versioning?
  • What quality assurance processes / conventions will you adopt?


Outline how the data will be collected/created and which
community data standards (if any) will be used.

Consider how the data will be organized during the project,
mentioning for example naming conventions,
version control and folder structures.

Explain how the consistency and quality of data collection
will be controlled and documented.   This may include
processes such as calibration, repeat samples or
measurements, standardized data capture or recording,
data entry validation, peer review of data or representation
with controlled vocabularies.