For 5 months now, Wouter Cox has been a PhD researcher at UvA. He is working on a dissertation on a new treatment for anxiety disorders based on neuroscientific insight into the malleability of emotional memory. Last summer, research funder NWO asked him, as it does other funded researchers, for a plan to store his research data and to make them reusable. Wouter himself tells how it went on from there.
What did you know about research data management or RDM before NWO’s questions about it?
'Apart from the most obvious matters, such as anonymisation of data and making back-ups, laws and regulations on data management was unknown territory for me. In answering some of the questions, I needed help, because I was not familiar with the accepted procedures in these matters. It concerned such things as storing privacy-sensitive information after the research is finished, sufficiently anonymising this information and metadata.'
Were you able to get help?
'Yes, I contacted someone from RDM support at the Library. She helped me in answering NWO’s questions very precisely and provided me with important information. The conversations I had with her on various aspects of data management, such as open science and licenses on collected data were interesting. All in all the advice was very satisfactory.'
How far are you now with the implementation of the data management plan?
'NWO has approved the plan, so I have started. The implementation of the data management plan applies to all the experiments which are part of my PhD project, such as publishing open acces and storing privacy-sensitive information long term. The following years the plan will accompany me in my research.'
Do you still have any doubts regarding the organisation of your research data?
'No, not at the moment.'
Are there any matters or facilities you miss at UvA regarding research data management?
'No, for my project there are plenty of facilities and for any other questions I know I can rely on the data manager.'
Do you need help in answering questions concerning research data management? Go to the RDM-website is for practical information and support.