Get Data-Ready for research from home
An introduction to research data tools
During the transition to increased research from home, here is a 3-minute introduction into the most useful tools to store, synchronise, organise and share your data.
For a more detailed summary, see:
Research Data Management at La Trobe.
With the increased relevance of working remotely, let's look at some tools you can use to organise, synchronise and share your data. All of these work without using the university VPN.
First on the list, CloudStor allows you to securely synchronise files and folders across a team. It's easiest to find via a web search and once you're on the Australian Academic and Research Network site, you can sign up to CloudStor using your university login. Once there, you can drag and drop any file or folder onto the web page. You start off with 1TB of storage, but you can request more from ICT if you need to. To synch these files and folders across any number of computers or other devices, you simply need the appropriate app. It then just appears like any other folder on your computer. You can securely share files and folders with a range of customisable options, and you can let other people send you files in a similar manner.
So with your working storage sorted, what replaces the trusty paper lab notebook? LabArchives is a general purpose online research notebook. Again, just use your university login. You can create new project notebooks organised on an existing template, or create your own. These project notebooks are organised into folders which contain pages, and those pages are just like the page of a paper notebook where you can organise your thoughts, hypotheses, observations and experiments, and the conclusions that you draw from them. You can also embed files straight into the notebook, along with a number of other features.
So you've put all this work into your research. What's the best way to share it? Well, the La Trobe open repository is based on FigShare, and once again, you can use your university login. When you create a new item, you just drag and drop in a file or folder and add some simple descriptive information so that people are able to find it. Items can include your publications, research data, publication slides or recordings, and more or less any other research output. Describe it as thoroughly as possible, because this makes it more searchable and therefore more visible. For supplementary data or an article postprint, link to the DOI of the published version. Choose a license for it to be released under. We recommend CC BY but there's a range to choose from. If required by a publisher you can apply an embargo. When you're done, you can either save a private draft, or share it publicly. Public items appear on the repository main page and are searchable and are also assigned a DOI. For items that aren't published elsewhere, like negative results or teaching material, this allws people to cite them and increases their visibility.
For all things research data, check out our data ready guide, and join us for the digital drop-ins, first Tuesday of every month.