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Research Guides

Research Data Management: Frequently Asked Questions

Guide of resources related to the many aspects of research data management. Data management encompasses the processes surrounding collecting, organizing, describing, sharing, and preserving data.

Frequently asked questions

Getting started

Where do I find out about citation management tools?
See the Citation Management Software guide and make an appointment to talk to someone about selecting or learning how to use a tool.

How do I use Google Scholar with my UW ID?
See the guide for using Google Scholar to search for articles at UW.

How do I log in to my email?
See the UW-IT page on email.

How can I acquire the data I need?
The Find Data page of the Data Resources Guide has some good starting points for locating data. Searching for data can sometimes be difficult, however, and can be facilitated with the help of a subject specialist who knows typical providers for the types of data you're looking for. If you are specifically looking for GIS data, you can email For other data inquiries email

What can we use project funds for?
For your specific project, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Do you have a mailing service to regularly notify people about tech workshop events?
Follow our Twitter feed, @uwlibsdata, for information on workshops, events, trainings and other relevant information.

Data Storage & Sharing

Is ResearchWorks (the UW institutional repository) publicly citable and shareable in publications?
Yes to both! The FAQ page has information about general use of the repository, how to deposit your work, and information on preservation and access. For citing data, see the Data Resources guide, and scroll down about halfway: on the left side of the page you'll see several links about data citation.

How and where should I share my data? How do I keep my data safe from accidental deletion?
See the Sharing & Storage page of the Data Management guide for information on data sharing & storage.

What data storage options do I have on campus?
See UW-IT's Online Storage page.

Does the UW Libraries provide access to persistent identifiers?
See the Persistent Identifiers guide, which includes information about DOIs and

What protocols do I follow for working with sensitive data?
See UW Medicine's page on Being Secure in "The Cloud".

How long should I keep my data?
If you're working on a grant-funded project, see the University's Records Retention Schedule. If you're not working on a grant, check with your department head for local convention and regulations.

Any tips on how to back up my data?
At very rudimentary/introductory level for personal files, see these tips from GeekSquad. If you are concerned about your UW research data, check with your department's IT people, and see UW-IT's page.

Software & Services

Where do I find information about data science?
Check out the UW's eScience Institute, which provides a list of departments with Data Science classes, and offers office hours through the Data Science Studio from librarians, data scientists, statisticians, and the Amazon web services scientific computing team to help you discover solutions to your data-related challenges.

Where can I get help with data visualization techniques and tools?
Check out the UW's eScience Institute, which offers office hours through the Data Science Studio from the librarians, data scientists, statisticians, and the Amazon web services scientific computing team to help you discover solutions to your data-related challenges.

What kind of software is available to students for various types of analysis?
UW-IT has a list of software available at reduced or no cost.

Where can I learn more about statistical software packages?
The UW's Center for Social Science Computation and Research offers many classes each quarter on using various software packages; they also provide drop-in consulting. Check their website for current course listings and contacts.

Where can I learn more about coding in R or Python to help manage large datasets?
Various campus departments sponsor Software Carpentry or Data Carpentry workshops each year to help non-programmers become familiar with tools such as R and Python. Follow @uwlibsdata on Twitter for announcements of these workshops.

What type of data analysis tools should I choose for my research project?
Check with the data scientists at the eScience Institute, the GIS specialist at the UW Libraries ( or the consultants at CSSCR to figure out what software you need. 

Data Management

How do I create a data management plan?
See the Data Management Plans page of the Data Management guide. For the UW-customized version of DMPTool, log in with your UW NetID.

What are some data management best practices?
The Organization & Format page of the Data Management guide is a good starting point for data management best practices.

Are there data management advisors at UW to discuss storage and organization?
Start with talking to people on your project and in your department, and consult with UW-IT for storage options best suited to your data and project.