Data management in scientific work

Data management within scientific work today is more than compiling literature lists or mastering office applications.

Computers take a variety of tasks from today’s scientists. This is especially true for the fast processing of large amounts of data. Those who are faced with the task of writing a dissertation with several hundred pages, it is much easier with programs such as Onenote or Evernote than the doctoral students of the 80s or early 90s, because he does not have to sort footnotes or bibliographical references himself, nor cut out text parts or Brush over with Tip-Ex. He also has extensive databases of scientific literature available whose documents can be scoured in seconds for search terms. However, the situation of many doctoral students is hardly enviable, because the blessing of technology can become a curse – especially when the ease of use of the software or the technical affinity of the doctoral student leaves something to be desired:

  • Search engines do not deliver too few, but far too many hits.
  • The data is in different formats and on different data media.

Commercial providers use exactly those terms that are at the center of their own work for their offers.

The literature search on the net leads via Wikipedia and ends on Facebook, where happens to be a few friends online, who plan to organize a birthday party.

Data management and processing require systematics.

Not only in the algorithms of the program, but also and especially in the mind of the users. Some tips can help:

Plan the creation of a data collection in good time and deal intensively with the functions of the programs. Even if this initially means more work – in the long run, the effort should definitely pay off and bring with it a significant amount of time.

Choose the program and system of classification carefully and stick to it: Better a system that does not fit 100%, than a patchwork of extensions and conversions, or even jumping back and forth between different systems.

In this way, some of the mistakes in using the software can be avoided.

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