During data collection, you have to implement the data management procedures that were (ideally) outlined in your data management plan. If no data management plan exists for your project, you will now have to decide how to tackle the following issues:
- Which kind of documentation will be generated for your research data?
- What kind of metadata will be collected? Do you apply any metadata standards?
- Are controlled vocabularies employed?
- Will you create codebooks in order to document tabular data? What kind of information will be captured in these codebooks?
- How will you handle files that are generated within this project?
- Which file formats will be used? Are any file format conversions required for certain steps of the data management workflow (e.g. usage of different file formats for statistical analyses and archiving/publishing data)?
- How will you organize the directory structure of your research data and information within datasets (e.g. wide format vs. long format)?
- What is the project’s approach on versioning control?
- What kind of data cleaning procedures will be employed?