Love Your Data Week 2017

From the 13th to the 17th of February, along with other academic and research libraries, data archives and organisations, QUT Library is celebrating the value and importance of research data, which are (we believe) crucial for advancing our knowledge of the world around us.

The theme for the 2017 social media event is ‘data quality’ and each day focuses on a different aspect of research data management:

13 February – Defining data quality

14 February – Documenting, describing, defining

15 February – Good data examples

16 February – Finding the right data

17 February – Rescuing unloved data

QUT researchers are also getting into the swing of things!  Here’s what Associate Professor Adrian Barnett from the School of Public Health and Social Work, Faculty of Health has to say about issues he’s faced in the research data management process:

“A huge issue is data access. I’ve seen PhDs and postdocs ruined because individuals and groups won’t release or share data, even though it’s almost always data collected from the public and the goal of the research is always to improve public health. And oftentimes, the groups are doing nothing with the data, they just don’t want to share it just in case.

People also wear themselves out collecting too much data. At the project design stage, there’s often a lot of thought that a particular variable or new data source would be great to collect. If multiple people with different “pet” variables are involved, the data collection becomes massive and eats all of the project budget and time. An analysis is then hastily done because there’s no time or energy left. Answering a few questions well is the better option than answering a lot of questions badly.”

Dr Tony Beatton, a researcher from the School of Economics and Finance, Faculty of Business who’s completing a PhD on the economics of happiness and whose research is founded on the application of primary-source datasets to has this to say:

“Given clean, accurate data, a researcher can look for patterns that explain human behaviour.  To do this, we need:

  1. A desire to use data as the basis for examining research questions;
  2. Access to quality data, which the QUT library certainly enables;
  3. Technical skills in mathematics and statistics, which enable us to;
  4. Apply the data plus our technical skills and knowledge of the literatures to examine important research questions.

The truth is in the numbers which manifest in the data.”

If you’re a researcher, leave a comment below on your experience with data, or any tips, tricks and resources that you wished someone had shared with you!

Visit the Love Your Data blog each day for stories, resources and activities and if you would like to join the conversation or to view more, go to Twitter (#LYD17, #loveyourdata), Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Bring out your data

Bring out your DATA to make your research datasets reusable, visible, discoverable and citable. Archiving and safely securely storing your data are important established steps in the scholarly communication process; increasingly, publishing and sharing your data is too.. Depositing data in QUT’s Research Data Finder is now easier than ever.

Publishing and sharing your research data, under a Creative Commons licence, is good practice and has benefits for you as a researcher since it enables you to get credit for your datasets.  Many funders now have data sharing requirements and, increasingly, journals and publishers have a data sharing policy. QUT supports researchers in securely storing and safely sharing research datasets.

Research Data Finder has a new look and increased functionality. It now contains over 230 records of research datasets. Examples include:

Sharing research data or information about data (metadata) can unlock opportunities for you as a researcher and can help drive innovation. QUT’s Management of Research Data policy encourages open data practices at QUT wherever possible, as there are many benefits to researchers and universities.

Contact the Research Data Librarian for more information on using Research Data Finder and the University Copyright Officer for information on licencing your dataset.