Prof. Amanda Korstjens recently published her research data on BORDaR, BU’s research data repository, for her paper: Environmental factors are stronger predictors of primate species’ distributions than basic biological traits.
Many funders and journals require the data supporting research publications to be deposited for long-term preservation because of its value to future research. Here’s what Prof. Korstjens had to say:
Q – What’s most exciting about your research?
A – As environments are changing across the globe, we expect many animals to struggle to survive under the new conditions, but to predict how different species will cope with the new situation, we need to understand which biological traits of that animal explain their association with particular environments. If we understand the relationship between the biological traits needed for coping with particular environments, especially the kind of environments that will become more common in future, then we can develop more effective mitigation strategies to preserve these animals. For example, in theory we would expect a clear relationship between warm dry environments and primates that travel on the ground. This study looks at the environmental variables that influence the distribution of primates across the African continent and investigates for the first time which biological traits of different primate species are associated with which environmental variables.
Q – What do you see as being the benefits of making your data available?
A – Most researchers would like to access datasets to use them for future comparative studies and to check for themselves how they agree or disagree with the findings of the study. Providing data open access improves traceability and accountability. Most journals also request open access data publication , where possible.
Q – Any advice you would give to anyone about managing their data effectively for successful deposit?
A – Making sure your data is well organized and referenced.
Q – Anything else you want to say about your data or the process?
A – The process was relatively straightforward. You can ask questions about anything you don’t understand or are not sure about because you are safe in the knowledge that the library team will check your entry for you. This also makes it easier to feel confident that you are not releasing data that are sensitive or not allowed to be open access for other reasons. The library team was fantastic in guiding me through the process and checking what I uploaded, even when I was rushed and trying to do things last minute.
The data can be accessed openly here: https://doi.org/10.18746/bmth.data.00000142
What support is available for researchers?
The library offers guidance and support for data management from bid preparation (Data Management Plans) to deposit in BORDaR, BU’s research data repository. Visit our research data management guide or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Depositing your data is a key activity when a research project is concluded. Key benefits to doing so are:
When archiving/ depositing your data, you are taking the first step in maintaining your data for the long-term. Data repositories will store and preserve your research data securely and that means you do not have to think about the prospect of losing your data in the foreseeable future. Repository staff are then responsible for the curation, discoverability, and accessibility of your data.
Get published, get cited
Depositing your data does not replace the process of publishing a research article. It enhances it. In fact, funders increasingly require data publication when they are providing a grant, and journals are aligning themselves with this process by asking the data to be published alongside with your article.
Citations are important to demonstrate impact and depositing your data can have a positive impact to your research profile through citations of your research data when re-used by other researchers. Sharing your data can also lead to further collaborations.
Image 1: Benefits of depositing research data
Enable further research
Datasets can complement other research efforts and generate new results when examined in new contexts. Moreover, when depositing your data, you are enabling the research community to benefit from your data, ensuring research efforts of your peers are directed into new areas. Finally, sharing your data transparently contributes to tackling the wider re-produceability crisis, whereby publishing your data you are allowing other researchers to test and verify the validity of your results.
Where to deposit
Ideally, when your research project has been finalised, you will deposit your data to a repository that is related to your discipline. You can identify suitable services using the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data). Note that there are charges associated with some repositories.
Alternatively, you can deposit your data with BU’s own data repository (BORDaR). There is no charge, and a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) will be generated which you can pass on to publishers to link any outputs to the original data.
It is helpful to consider where to deposit your data at the start of a research project, and to plan for any resources needed to prepare your data for publication. To this end, a Data Management Plan (DMP) should be completed at the start of every research project.
Further guidance can be found in the Library’s Research Data Management guide. If you have any specific questions, you can also email us at: email@example.com.
Image captured from the official website of DMP Online (Accessed 27 November 2020).
What is a Data Management Plan?
Data Management Plans (DMPs) document how data generated during a research project will be managed and preserved for reuse. Funders are taking this increasingly seriously and are evaluating the strength of DMPs when assessing bids for research funding.
Who does it apply to?
Staff undertaking research and PGRs.
What is DMP Online?
DMP Online is a data management planning tool. Created by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), it enables researchers to write DMPs using funder templates. It also benefits from:
- Integrated guidance
- Tools to enable collaboration with colleagues/supervisors/library support
DMP Online is highly recommended, helping researchers to meet funder expectations. There is also a BU template for all other projects.
Where to go for more information and support
The Library has developed an extensive Research Data Management (RDM) guide, which includes guidance for DMPs.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional support.
Digital Curation Centre, 2020. DMPonline [online]. Available at: https://dmponline.dcc.ac.uk/ [Accessed 27 November 2020].