Data Management

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As for the research data, it is essential to have a clear, accountable, ethical, and wisely defined plan for data management when conducting research to avoid all matters of conflicts and inappropriate research methods or techniques.

The three important issues that are to be considered in data management are:

  • Ethical and truthful collection of reliable data
  • Ownership and responsibility of collected data
  • Retaining data and sharing access to collected data with colleagues and the public

Each of the three aforementioned issues contribute to the reliability of research and can be easily ignored by researchers. Ethical data collection refers to collecting data in a way that does not harm or injure someone. Harm and injury could range from outright physical injury to harmful disclosure of private confidential health information. In comparison, truthful data collection refers to data that, once collected, are not manipulated or altered in any way that might impact or falsely influence results.

Assigning and ensuring responsibility for collecting and maintaining data is one of the most important ethical considerations when conducting a research project. Usually a member of the research team is assigned the responsibility for the collection and maintenance of data. Once collected, this data becomes the property of BAU.

Data sharing is important, since it reinforces the accuracy and verification of data. Nevertheless, sometimes data is associated with intellectual property and needs to be protected as such.

Protecting intellectual property while simultaneously encouraging data sharing is highly important in order to ensure valid and reliable research. Consequently, whether to withhold or share data can be a fine line for researchers who wish to protect their intellectual property, but the line must be properly drawn in order to allow the positive aspects of data sharing to occur while protecting the researcher’s hard work and originality.