HSLS Data Services

The success of a research project hinges on the quality of its data, and keeping clearly organized, well-documented data and analyses helps to ensure high data quality. The HSLS Data Services team can help you find, manage, publish, and share your data for any type of research project. We offer consultations, classes, and customized trainings in the following areas:

Research data management

Organizing files, writing documentation, and safely storing datasets are essential skills for managing data throughout the research lifecycle. We are available for personal consultations on research data management topics at any time, and offer workshops throughout the semester. In particular, we offer:

  • One-hour Introduction to Research Data Management classes that are suitable for everyone, but may be especially helpful for new graduate students and project staff
  • In-depth workshops on file-naming best practices, writing a data management plan for grant applications, and responsibly reusing data (or making your data available for reuse)
  • One-on-one meetings on writing and implementing a data management and sharing plan (DMSP) for the NIH’s new data management and sharing policy that goes into effect in January 2023

Open science

Researchers, clinicians, and patients all benefit when scientists can examine each other’s work, build on existing data, and attempt to replicate experiments. The practice of making data, protocols, and scripts as publicly available as possible (within legal and ethical bounds) is called “open science.” But making your science open can be challenging, especially when you’re setting up new workflows and procedures for the first time. HSLS can help you with open science topics including:

  • Following the FAIR principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability when putting your data and materials online
  • Locating, reusing, and citing data, and making your own data easily findable and citable
  • Disseminating articles, preprints, datasets, protocols, and software through formal publication or open distribution (please see our Where Should I Publish? guide for more info)
  • Managing complex projects on platforms like OSF (Open Science Framework)

Computational methods and tools

If you write or use code as part of your research, we can help you access better development tools and methods. Topics we can help with include:

  • Version control (tracking changes to files) with Git and GitHub
  • Choosing an appropriate open-source license for your code
  • Annotating research code, including both analysis scripts and standalone programs
  • Finding training for the fundamentals of research programming, such as using Python (Jupyter Notebook), R, and the command line

Note: We don’t offer help with statistical analysis or packages like SPSS, but see this January 2022 HSLS Update article for links to on-campus stats consulting services.

If you have a question about data, please contact us. We are available for one-on-one consultations as well as customized workshops for curricula, labs, and research groups. Our previously-taught classes are listed in our class catalog, but we’ll gladly put together something new just for you.

~Helenmary Sheridan