UK Data Archive: Managing and Sharing Data

This document, created by the UK Data Archive, gives researchers an overview of the best practices involved in data management for long-term, accessible data storage, protection and archive.


"Whilst good data management is fundamental for high quality research data and therefore research excellence, it is crucial for facilitating data sharing and ensuring the sustainability and accessibility of data in the long-term and therefore their re-use for future science.

If research data are well organised, documented, preserved and accessible, and their accuracy and validity is controlled at all times, the result is high quality data, efficient research, findings based on solid evidence and the saving of time and resources. Researchers themselves benefit greatly from good data management. It should be planned before research starts and may not necessarily incur much additional time or costs if it is engrained in standard research practice." (Van den Eynden et al. 2011, p. 1)


  • Endorsements  iii
  • Forward  1
  • Sharing your data - why and how  2
    • Why share research data  3
    • How to share your data  4
  • Data management planning  5
    • Roles and responsibilities  7
    • Costing data management  7
  • Documenting your data  8
    • Data documentation  9
    • Metadata  10
  • Formatting your data  11
    • File formats  12
    • Data conversions  13
    • Organising files and folders  13
    • Quality assurance  14
    • Version control and authenticity  14
    • Transcription  15
  • Storing your data  17
    • Making back-ups  18
    • Data storage  18
    • Data security  19
    • Data transmission and encryption  20
    • Data disposal 21
    • File sharing and collaborative environments  21
  • Ethics and consent  22
    • Legal and ethical issues  23
    • Informed consent and data sharing  23
    • Anonymising data  26
    • Access control  27
  • Copyright  28
  • Strategies for centres  31
    • Data management resources library  32
    • Data inventory  33
  • References  34
  • Data management checklist  35


Van den Eynden, V., Corti, L., Woolard, M., Bishop, L. and Horton, L. (2011). Managing and sharing data: Best practice for researchers. UK Data Archive, University of Essex: Essex.

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