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Research & Data Services: Home

Research & Data Services (RDS) is a librarian-led service that provides the MSVU research community with the expertise, tools, and infrastructure to collect, use, manage, and steward research data. RDS provides a suite of data management and research services including workshops, presentations, and individual consultations.

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A data management plan (DMP) is a document that outlines how researchers intend to handle their data throughout the research lifecycle. It is a key component of responsible and transparent research practices.

Data management plans typically include information about:

Data collectionDocumentation
Data storage and backupData security and access
Data sharingLong-term preservation
Ethical and legal considerationsRoles and responsibilities
Budget and resourcesData disposal

By creating and following a data management plan, researchers can enhance the reproducibility of their work, facilitate collaboration, meet funding agency requirements, and contribute to the overall integrity of the scientific process.

DMP Assistant Learn more... Book a consultation

Organized data are easier to find, manage, and use. While there are best practices for file and data management, the ideal system is the one that works for you and your team. Before beginning a new project, consider the following:

Creating a folder structure
Naming your files systematically
Using version control tools

Organizing research data is not just a technical detail; it is a fundamental practice that underpins the entire research process. It enables transparency, collaboration, and the long-term impact of research findings, while also ensuring compliance with ethical and institutional standards.

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It’s important to think about what you will do with your data once your research project is complete. You may be required to store or share your research data to meet journal or grant funding obligations, or you may wish to keep your data secure so you can re-use it in the future. How you prepare your data for storage will depend on your needs.

Retention: keeping research data after the completion of a project for a set period of time.
Preservation: a series of activities that ensure continued stability and access to data for as long as necessary.
Sharing: making research data available to others for analysis or re-use.
Deposit: transferring custodianship of research data to a third-party, such as a research data repository. Data deposit ≠ data sharing.

No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to package and curate your data so that it can be understood by yourself or future users.

Borealis Repository Learn more... Book a consultation

Evidence synthesis is a research methodology that involves systematically collecting, reviewing, and integrating existing evidence from multiple studies to draw meaningful conclusions or make informed decisions. This approach is particularly common in fields such as medicine, public health, and social sciences. There are a variety of specific evidence synthesis methodologies, some of which are listed below.

Systematic review: a comprehensive and structured synthesis of the available evidence on a specific research question or topic, utilizing a systematic and transparent approach to identify, appraise, and analyze relevant studies.
Scoping review: a systematic method for mapping and summarizing existing literature to identify key concepts, gaps, and trends within a broad research area, providing a comprehensive overview of the available evidence.
Integrative review: a research synthesis methodology that combines diverse study designs to provide a comprehensive understanding of a particular phenomenon, incorporating findings from both qualitative and quantitative research to offer a holistic perspective.
Rapid review: an accelerated form of evidence synthesis that streamlines traditional systematic review methods to provide timely insights by prioritizing specific review components such as literature search, study selection, and data extraction.

MSVU Librarians regularly join research teams to collaborate on evidence synthesis projects. Book a consultation or contact us for more information.

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