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The 10 marine science (rd) Things: Thing 1

Thing 1: Getting started with research data

Research data comes in many shapes and sizes and its management changes over time. Kick off your research data journey by exploring different types and forms of research data and how they fit into the research lifecycle.

Activity 1: What is research data?

What "research data" are we talking about?

1. Read the Defining Research Data section from University of Oregon Library - note that for data to be reusable the data collection needs to include algorithms, scripts, software etc. It's not 'just data'

2. As we have just seen, research data can come in many forms. Some of these are human readable, and some are machine readable. Open up the below CSIRO record of research data collected during a CSIRO voyage which explored the seafloor (i.e. Benthic zone) of the Marmion Lagoon, located just off Perth, in 2007.

3. Click on the Files tab to see the rich variety of data formats contained in this one research data collection.

4. Click on the link below and have a look around the CSIRO Data Access Portal and see what different formats data comes in.

5. Click on the link below to see what are some of the data tools available at the IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System)?  What type of tool would you need to use to collect your research data? 

Consider: how the complexity and range of data formats affect access and re-use possibilities.

Activity 2: Data in the research lifecycle

Data often have a longer lifespan than the research project that creates them. Follow-up projects may analyse or add to the data, and data may be reused by other researchers.

A data lifecycle shows the different phases a dataset goes through as the research project moves from "having a brilliant idea" to "making groundbreaking discoveries" to "telling the world about it"

1. Take a look at either one of the links below:

Consider: Have you been through all of the steps outlined in this lifecycle? If not, which ones are new to you?

Activity 3 : Importance of managing public sector open data

Managing research data well provides many benefits to Australia’s economy and the community. Review two or more of the following documents:

1. Take a look at what the below report on the inquiry into the benefits and costs of options for increasing availability of and improving the use of public and private sector data by individuals and organisations. 

See section on Findings and Recommendations. What are the findings and recommendations on how we can improve access to research-oriented data?

2. Review the following document. What are some of the recommendations with regards to data management highlighted in the document?

3. Review the Western Australian Government Open Data Policy. Why is it critical to build and share critical marine data?

4. Browse the 16 stories about the real-life benefits of Australian research data in the #dataimpact ebook published by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS).

5. Read the CSIRO’s Understanding and unlocking the value of public research data: OzNome social architecture report.

Government of Western Australia: Open Data Policy

ANDS Data impact ebook: Stories about the real-life impact of Australian research data