Begin Your Open Science Journey

Citing and Managing Your Data

Manage your data:

  • Store your data in non-proprietary formats where possible. Use compression file formats that don’t lose information (e.g., TIFF) and use open source software where possible.

TIP: New habits take time! Commit to incorporating a few changes into your workflow and make a calendar event to check on progress.

  • Adopt standardized file and folder naming conventions for your files, projects, and groups.

  • Create README files and keep them up-to-date with a running log of actions and changes. Include basic elements that will help you create metadata for a dataset.

  • Set up automatic backups for your data and other files.

Share your data as openly as possible:

  • Plan early where you will deposit your data. This will help you to document and structure your data and metadata for submission. Some repositories have flexible embargo options: upload your data early to save time when preparing publications or other reports.

Cite all data:

  • Include data citations in your papers for your own data and other data you use in the References section, to ensure you give proper attribution and to support reproducibility and transparency.

  • Write a data availability statement in your publications that describes where and how your data are available. Check links and files before submitting your paper to ensure data are accessible for peer review.

TIP: Check to see if your journal offers guidance, or use this guidance from the AGU, to make sure your data citations and availability statements are complete!

Find more guidance for the steps above as well as data backup, version control, and electronic lab notebooks in the checklist linked below!

See the full checklist for more tips here!