A personal experience triggered PhD candidates Katharina Hanika and Eliana Papoutsoglou to devote a lot of their time to inform their colleagues about good data management practices.
Problems and frustration
Both Katharina and Eliana encountered a situation where good data management could have saved them time and frustration. As a first step in her PhD, Katharina wanted to reproduce the results of another author by using his data. Katharina: “I worked with a publicly available dataset. Whatever I did, I wasn’t able to reproduce the results. Only through contacting the author I could identify a mistake in the labelling of the files.”
Eliana saw a similar problem when she witnessed how potato population data were used by different researchers. Eliana: “It was not clear who had worked on which part of the data, where the results were stored, and what changed when the data moved to a new user. This resulted in researchers working on older data because they were not aware that there were newer versions.”
In search of a way of storing and managing her research data in such a way that nobody would have to go through the frustration that she went through, Katharina became an avid user of an electronic lab notebook. In fact, after two years of experience, she has become the local eLabjournal expert, actively promoting its use and giving workshops that she developed together with Eliana.
WUR Data Champions
Please read more about Data Champions Katharina and Eliana on the OpenScience blog.