If Nature News and Comment are writing about it, it must be the next big thing eh?

Hot topic or not managing your data properly is super important for scientific/commercial integrity, and most importantly, your own sanity. It’s so important that my department invited their most bestest PhD student to give a talk on it at our last training day.

If you couldn’t be bothered to flick through all ten slides then here are said Golden Rules, according to yours truly:

  1. Don’t Touch the Raw Data - back it up and keep read-only copy.

  2. Have a plan! - Decide where your data is going to be stored, what its called, when/if it needs to be deleted BEFORE you start collecting it.

  3. Document Everything - You know who the worst person at replying to emails is about what the sampling frequency of channel X was. Nope not him, it actually yourself from a year ago. Keep the documentation with the data!

  4. Create the data you want to see in the word - Imagine someone was about to give you a dataset that you needed to analyse well in order to get that job you’ve been dreaming about. What would you want it to look like? That’s how yours should look.

  5. Try not to re-invent the wheel. Before you start creating some crazy new schema, storage format or naming protocol - have a quick google, ask your colleagues. Something that’s already being used is likely going to be better in the long run even if you think there’s a better solution.