LAS 6292: Data Collection & Management

This course is for graduate students from any discipline – social sciences, humanities, biophysical sciences – and at all stages of their graduate program. It is an introduction to methods for collecting, organizing, managing, and visualizing both qualitative and quantitative data. Students will gain hands-on experience with best practices and tools; at the conclusion of this course students will be able to:

  • Describe the different types of research data;
  • Explain the need for and benefits of data management and sharing;
  • Describe and implement best practices for the collection, storage, management, archiving, and sharing of research data;
  • Find, download, and analyze publicly available data from repositories;
  • Carry out simple and reproducible manipulations and visualizations of datasets;
  • Describe public policies and agency requirements for data management and sharing;
  • Articulate the major legal and ethical considerations regarding the collection, use, and storage of research data (e.g., privacy/human subjects, intellectual property);
  • Create and Implement and a Data Management Plan;
  • Identify and properly use tools and techniques for more efficient and secure data collection in the field.

All students will work with real data sets — ideally their own — and prepare a data collection and management plan for their own research projects. They will also prepare the tools for data collection and storage during their coming field season.

Course Schedule

Week Date Topic
1 1/7 Data across disciplines, Research Data Lifecycle
2 1/14 File Formats, Naming conventions, Storage, and Security
3 1/21 No Class: MLK Holiday
4 1/28 Data structure and formatting
5 2/4 Metadata & Documentation
6 2/11 Efficient Data Collection
7 2/18 Efficient Data Entry / QAQC I (forms/electronic data entry)
8 2/25 Efficient Data Entry / QAQC II (audio/transcription)
9 3/4 No Class: SPRING BREAK
10 3/11 Data processing & visualization
11 3/19 Version control, Introduction to Reproducibility
12 3/18 Legal and Ethical Issues
13 3/25 Data Sharing, Reuse, and Citation; Data repositories
14 4/1 Data Management Plans
15 4/8 Data Collection Workshop
16 4/15 Tools for Project Management and Collaboration
17 4/22 Free day to work on DMP & Data Collection Tools
Finals Week 5/2 Submission of DMP & Data Collection Tools by noon