The LipLab data management policy is guided by a set of main principles:
Researchers may continue to work on data after funding has ceased, follow-up projects may analyze or add to the data, and data may be re-used by other researchers.
Therefore, data should be reusable, well organized, well documented, and preserved; results should be reproducible.
For archiving purposes, two secured university network drives are used to store data and other research-related materials: one is used actively by the lab (i.e., for ongoing projects), whereas the other serves as a permanent storage (i.e., archive) on faculty level. Each lab member has their own folder on these shares. At the very least, all materials and data related to a manuscript accepted for publication, of which a LipLab member is the first author, should be stored on these shares. However, lab-members are encouraged to install a program that automatically backs up any workflow (published or not) to these secure drives. One lab-member is tasked with periodically checking whether all data are properly stored in line with the requirements below.
Here are the more specific guidelines we use:
Data and materials are stored in separate folders for each project, named
“[1st Author’s Initials]_[year]_[meaningful project name]”, which includes the following:
When a project involves the collection of non-digital data, we to digitize them if possible. If this is impossible, the data are stored in the faculty archive for research data.
More generally, lab members are encouraged to use R Markdown to improve readability of analyses scripts or results, and thus facilitate sharing them, and GitHub, for version-control.
As a lab, we highly value research integrity and transparency. We strongly recommend all members to use the Open Science Framework (OSF) for several reasons. We aim to be as open and transparent as possible when it comes to research, and preregister all studies unless there is a clear reason not to (e.g., ethical constraints). Aside from transparency (preregistration), storing project materials and data (cf. the file structure described above) on OSF repositories also has the benefit of having all relevant materials in one centralized location with built-in version-control and it facilitates collaboration and the sharing of research with researchers outside of the lab.