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Research Data: Finding, Managing, Sharing

Provides information about all aspects of data management and stewardship including finding, planning, organizing, documenting, sharing, and preserving your research data.


This guide, authored by U-M Library's Research Data Services, is intended for all researchers wanting to know more about how to obtain, manage, share, or preserve data.  Use the tabs above to gain an understanding of and to find resources about data management and stewardship.

Research data are the elements used to support or validate your academic work or analysis. While this includes numeric data, many other types of research objects such as code, formulae, images, sound, artifacts, and text can be considered research data.  

Research Data Services is a network of services provided by the library to assist you during all phases of the research data lifecycle. For questions about research data or to schedule a consultation, please get in touch with your subject librarian or email us.


Research Data Services

The Library can assist you in the following ways:

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Data Management Planning: helping plan for managing, sharing and curating data and developing Data Management Plans (DMPs) that meet funder requirements. 

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Discovery & Access: assisting in discovering, accessing, and acquiring different types of research materials, including data. 

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Data Organization & Management: helping researchers to understand, develop and apply strategies for organizing and managing their data.

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Metadata & Documentation: locating standards for documentation that capture the details of generating, processing and analyzing data so it can be discovered, understood and reused.

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Data Sharing & Publication: helping disseminate research data for discovery, access and reuse in ways that enable researchers to receive credit for their work.

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Preservation: taking action to sustain the accessibility and scholarly value of data over time.


Data Lifecycle

Managing data effectively requires a consideration for how the data will grow and evolve over the course of your research. Data Lifecycle Models, such as the one shown here, provide a high level view of the stages that a data set may pass through and how these stages are connected. At each stage, researchers should consider how the data will be described, managed and secured.

The stages in your own data lifecycle will vary according to the type of research you are conducting, the data you are working with and your particular goals and needs for the data. The library can help you in identifying the stages of your data lifecycle and in considering what actions should be taken at each stage to ensure that the data are accessible, understandable and fit for re-use. 

Click here for more information on Data Lifecycles.  

*Graphic above from USGS:

Getting Help

For additional information or to ask questions, contact your subject librarian!