Research Data Lifecycle Guide

Plan for how data will be generated, managed, and ultimately shared. This is a crucial first step in increasing the impact of data generated from NIH-funded research. The Data Management and Sharing Plan is updated throughout the research project. Similarly, secure data storage and compute needs can span the research data lifecycle.

Data generation occurs when observations or measurements are made. Choosing and undertaking valid and reliable observations and measurements is the foundation for research conclusions.

Data processing includes all of the operations performed on data in preparation for analysis and sharing. Data processing encompasses but is not limited to ingestion from multiple systems, devices and sources, integration, linking, cleaning, coding, structuring, standardizing, adding derived values such aspects extracted from narrating text or scores, and process control based on point estimates of accuracy and other data quality parameters.

Data have value when they are used. Careful work in data planning, generation, collection, and processing (collectively data management) come to fruition through data analysis and other uses such as decision support to better manage ongoing studies.

Sharing enables reuse, increases transparency, and facilitates reproducibility of research results. To bolster data sharing, NIH supports a number of data repositories. Sharing through the Texas Digital Libraries repository is now available to UTHSA researchers.

Institutional, regulatory or contractual records (including data) retention periods may apply to study data and are identified during data planning. Data are disposed when they no longer have value.

Secure data storage is needed throughout the data lifecycle.  Identified research data (this includes any data with real dates) can not be released outside the UTHSA network unless HIPAA Authorization to do so has been obtained from each patient or an institutional agreement to do so such as a Data Use Agreement (DUA) or Business Associates Agreement (BAA) is in place. Identified data must be encrypted in transit and at rest.