Research dara are a valuable resource in which much has been invested. If already collected data are lost or have become unfit for use, it may be extremely costly or even impossible to collect the data again. That is why good research data management is so important.
Prevention of loss
Have you ever deleted a file by mistake or lost one in a computer crash or a fire? Data are lost in all sorts of ways. And even if they are stored correctly, they may be damaged, for example because the storage medium has become obsolete. The only way to protect yourself from loss of data is to make regular back-ups and to check regularly if your files are still in order.
If your data contain sensitive information for your organisation or personal data, you will wish to prevent unauthorised persons gaining access to them. Researchers with whom you collaborate, on the other hand, will need to have access. Therefore it is important to think out carefully where to store your data and how to secure them.
If you collect a large amount of data (files), chances are that you will lose your way in them. A consistent and logical organisation of files and file names helps you to avoid this. Besides, it is useful to log the decisions you make regarding your data during your research.