Research Data management

Data is essential in socio-scientific research. To the extent that conclusions in socio-scientific research rely on data, this data must be diligently collected and must be traceable for those who wish to verify these conclusions. All data also has an important documentation function: data that is collected in the present can prove to be of great value to future research (provided the data has been carefully managed and documented). The faculty therefore drew up a data management policy to encourage and facilitate its researchers to systematically and carefully collect, manage and archive their data and ensure that they adhere to the three principles of data management highlighted above: diligent collection, traceability and documentation.

Research Data Management Policy FSW

In socio-scientific research a large variety of data is used. Different types of data come with different requirements for the use and management of the relevant data. In its broadest sense FSW takes research data to mean all observational data recorded in the research process that serves as input for research publications.

Within FSW we distinguish at least the following types of data:
  1. quantitative data
  2. observational data
  3. qualitative interview data (reports and/or recordings)
  4. dynamic and large-scale data
Although these types of research data are extremely different, the various principles – (a) diligent data collection (b) traceability and (c) the best possible documentation – apply to all types, even if these principles may be interpreted in different ways and may require varying considerations. Exactly these considerations need to be documented and explicated in a data management plan, which we see as the cornerstone for good research data management. For FSW a data management plan is a living document designed for a specific context, depending on the research method and the type of data involved.

For more information on the research data management policy we refer to our Research Support Office.

Practical tips
In case you are a VU FSW researcher, you can find practical tips on how to draft a data management plan, manage and archive your research data on our VUnet pages