The first step in managing your data is creating a data management plan. The following are free resources for writing your plan.
Once you've determined what type of data you will be collecting, it is essential that you determine what file formats you will be collecting your data in. Best practices are to use formats that are:
While your research project is in process, you may need to share your work with others--your professor, your colleagues, other researchers, etc. What tool you select is dependent on:
You can save your project to mobile storage devices, such as USB drives or external hard drives, which you share with your fellow researchers. Some online options for storing and sharing your data are:
Once you're collecting data, you need to keep track of what you're collecting, how, and why. This information will be necessary for you and for others who want to use your data. Data about data is called Metadata. Examples of metadata are:
There are many types of metadata. Your metadata should follow standards specific to your field.
Additional things to consider are who owns or has rights to your data, and whether you need to get permission from others for their participation or for using their data.