Opening, publishing and archiving the data

tekijä: Tiia Marjaana Puputti Viimeisin muutos perjantai 06. elokuuta 2021, 15.03

Questions in the data management plan:

1. What will you do with your data when your thesis is ready? If you intend to destroy the data, how do you do that securely?

Related to the FAIR principles of Accessible and Re-usable.

At the end of the thesis process

Here you consider what will happen to your research data when your thesis process is over: 

  • If you give the data you have collected and produced to your research group or a corresponding party, make an agreement with them on transferring the rights to the data (see also Section 2: Rights related to the data). 
  • When it comes to publishing, first consider if you have the right to publish. Have the data already been published in, for example, an archive? Have you agreed with, for instance, a research group or company on not publishing the data? Do the data contain confidential information, so that only the metadata could be published? Furthermore, are the data so significant that mere metadata are worth publishing, and have the primary data in that case been properly archived? 
    • The policy in doctoral studies is that at least the metadata of all research data are published. In master’s studies, students and their supervisors together assess the usability of the data and the possibilities and benefits of publishing.  
    • If needed, the Open Science Centre will help! 
  • If publishing is possible and worth doing, you can publish your research data and related metadata in JYU’s digital repository JYX or in the European Zenodo repository. However, regular practices for publishing students’ research data are only being developed at the moment.

  • If your research data were not, after all, a significant result of your research process and you intend to destroy them, remember that the data must not end up in the hands of outsiders!  
    • Before destroying the data, check from your thesis supervisor how long research data must be stored in your discipline in order to not endanger the thesis process.
    • Data on returnable recording devices (e.g. recorders) are erased by overwriting before returning the devices. Overwriting means that the recorder is filled with random data several times, after which the original files cannot be retrieved any more. There is special software for this purpose.
    • Files on your computer should also be overwritten. It is not enough to transfer them to the trash folder and empty it.
    • Data on destroyable recording devices are erased by overwriting before taking the devices to locked recycling containers for confidential material. You will find these green, locked “Sulo” containers at the maintenance manager points of JYU’s different buildings. 
    • Printed materials must be disposed of in the container for confidential waste paper, from where they end up in the shredder. In other words, never take them to a regular paper waste container or wastebasket! Many JYU buildings have dark grey locked containers (“Sulo”) for this purpose.

When making your decision, take into account that opening, publishing and archiving research data for further use are essential values of scientific research and a subarea of open, responsible science. Here’s an example of how the open science concept is structured: 

Watch this video about archiving research data.

When making your decision, take into account that opening, publishing and archiving research data for further use are essential values of scientific research and a subarea of open, responsible science.

 

Research data life cycle

The figure presenting the life cycle of research data (below) captures the whole research process from the perspective of data management.

The stages of research data life cycle.      Research plan    Data management plan    Funding application    (Ethical review)    Data collection    Data processing and documentation    Data analysis and publication of findings    Data sharing/archiving    Data documentation publication    Life cycle continues: data reuse in new research, data reuse in teaching, data reuse in learning

 

Figure: The stages of research data life cycle.  Data Management Guidelines.

 

Summary:  What will you do with your data when they are complete? 

  • Will you destroy the data – when and how do you do that securely?
  • Can the metadata be published, and where? Is it useful to have just the metadata published?
  • If the data are stored but not published – where and for how long time?
  • If you intend to publish the data – where and when? Estimate the time needed for this, whether the data will require changes, and whether something restricts publishing.