This page intends to provide users with an overall understanding of how to manage a research project and includes guiding questions, information about tracking progress and links to additional resources concerning research data management and citation management software.
Questions to Consider
At the beginning of any research project, it is essential to consider the goals and scope that are associated with the completion of the project as well as who within the research team will be acting as the Principal Investigator (PI) and other designated roles. Here are some questions to think about when designing your research project:
Answers to these questions are recorded in what is called a Project Charter, an example of which you can find below.
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Tools and Resources for Citation Management
Research Data Management Resources
Keeping Track of Your Project
Any ongoing research project can become overwhelming with all its moving parts, so it is vital to keep track of the resources you have consulted as well as the responsibilities of team members throughout the project cycle. Tracking your progress using a project tracker allows you to see each step clearly and helps breakdown what is complete and what is left to do. Here are some examples of what to include in your tracker to help you manage your research.
Action Items Log
This section helps keep track of what is completed and what is ongoing throughout the duration of your project. Here is an example of what an action items log would look like:
This is an incredibly important resource that you can consult throughout the project cycle to ensure you stay on track and know exactly where you are.
Meeting & Communications Log
As you move through the project cycle, there will be many meetings and frequent communication between team members. Keeping a log of any meetings and communications allows you to track any decisions that have been made throughout the process. Here is an example of a meeting & communications log:
|Next Steps/Questions for Follow-Up
Throughout the process, you will want to keep in mind the stakeholders involved in your project and what their roles are. In keeping track of who they are, contact information, and their role in your project, also make a note of any outside factors that might impact their involvement throughout the process.
Your project will have several outcomes when completed. You will want to keep a list of what those deliverables are, what team member is responsible for them, any acceptance criteria or important descriptions that need to be tracked, and the in-progress date, due date, and date of completion. Here is an example of a deliverables list:
|Most Responsible Person
Risks and Issues Log
All projects have risks, and you will likely encounter issues throughout the project cycle. However, you can track any risks you think are associated with your project and develop strategies to address them should they be encountered. If issues occur, it is also important to log what they were and how they were handled to ensure your understanding of the situation and how best to move forward in your project.
After dealing with issues, reflect on the lessons learned and log these as well. These reflections are valuable resources that will help inform future decisions in your current research project or how to better manage your next one. When logging, ask yourself these questions:
Research Data Management (RDM) ensures that research data is collected, organized, stored, and shared in a way that is accurate, reliable, and secure. Effective research data management practices help researchers maintain the integrity and reproducibility of their work, which is essential for building trust and credibility in the research community.
Good data management also makes it easier for researchers to collaborate with colleagues, share their findings with others, and comply with ethical and legal requirements for data storage and sharing.
Read our in-house guide on Research Data Management to access information on tips, policies, tools, and the best resources for doing research in this topic.
What to consider when planning RDM strategies?
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