Happy New Year’s! The start of a new year and a new semester are as good a time as ever to evaluate your data management practices. Here are some reminders about data management best practices, groups on campus who can help you with managing your data, and some upcoming opportunities for you to sharpen your skills.

Are you looking to expand your knowledge of technical skills and software tools for managing data this year? Hosted by the Data Science Hub, two Carpentries workshops will be run in January: Software Carpentry will be on January 14-15, and Data Carpentry will be on January 16-17.

Additionally, RDS Consultant and Science & Engineering Data & Information Specialist, Tobin Magle, will be leading a series of workshops in R programming throughout the spring semester, covering R basics, data wrangling, visualization, versioning, and reports. These workshops will benefit anyone at UW-Madison working with tabular data. Registration is free, and is done on a workshop-by-workshop basis, not for the entire series of workshops.

Does your research involve human subjects? Make sure that your CITI Human Subjects Protections Training is up-to-date. Your training certificate is good for three years, and you’ll need it in order to submit a research proposal to the IRB.

Know your IRB. UW-Madison has three Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) to oversee that research being done by campus members is done ethically, in a way that protects the rights and welfare of individuals participating as subjects in research.

  • The Health Sciences IRB reviews research protocols for medical interventions or procedures where medical expertise is required for evaluation.
  • The Minimal Risk IRB reviews research protocol that present minimal risk to subjects and that involve medical interventions or procedures requiring medical expertise or that require knowledge of the health care setting.
  • The Education and Social Behavioral Science IRB reviews human participant research within the social sciences and non-medical health research.

Is your HIPAA training up-to-date? If you work with health information, it’s recommended that you complete training on an annual basis. You can read more about UW-Madison’s HIPAA Security Program here, and check out our blog post from August about what HIPAA means for researchers. Also, each unit in the UW-Madison Health Care Component has assigned HIPAA Security and Privacy Coordinators who can answer questions related to HIPAA.

What kind of data are you working with? UW-Madison’s Data Governance Program identifies four classifications for data that is used and created on campus: Restricted, Sensitive, Public, and Internal. Each classification denotes different levels of risk to the parties associated with the data if it is disclosed, altered, lost, or destroyed in an unauthorized context.

Have questions about publishing methods and platforms, copyright, digital humanities projects, digital tools and platforms, developing and planning digital projects, or data management and sharing? Drop in for Digital Scholarship & Publishing Office Hours from 11:30-1:30 on Thursdays, starting on January 31. Office hours on January 31 will be held in the reference area on the 2nd floor of Memorial Library. Following that, office hours will be held in the reference are on the 2nd floor of Memorial Library on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month, and in Room 109 of Steenbock Library on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month.

The Data Science Hub will hold office hours every other Thursday from 2:30-4:30 p.m., starting on January 31.

If you ever have any questions about your research project, don’t hesitate to contact us