A practical guide to data management and sharing for biomedical laboratory researchers

K. Fouad, R. Vavrek, M. C. Surles-Zeigler, J. R. Huie, H. L. Radabaugh, G. G. Gurkoff, U. Visser, J. S. Grethe, M. E. Martone, A. R. Ferguson, J. C. Gensel, A. Torres-Espin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effective data management and sharing have become increasingly crucial in biomedical research; however, many laboratory researchers lack the necessary tools and knowledge to address this challenge. This article provides an introductory guide into research data management (RDM), and the importance of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data-sharing principles for laboratory researchers produced by practicing scientists. We explore the advantages of implementing organized data management strategies and introduce key concepts such as data standards, data documentation, and the distinction between machine and human-readable data formats. Furthermore, we offer practical guidance for creating a data management plan and establishing efficient data workflows within the laboratory setting, suitable for labs of all sizes. This includes an examination of requirements analysis, the development of a data dictionary for routine data elements, the implementation of unique subject identifiers, and the formulation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for seamless data flow. To aid researchers in implementing these practices, we present a simple organizational system as an illustrative example, which can be tailored to suit individual needs and research requirements. By presenting a user-friendly approach, this guide serves as an introduction to the field of RDM and offers practical tips to help researchers effortlessly meet the common data management and sharing mandates rapidly becoming prevalent in biomedical research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114815
JournalExperimental Neurology
StatePublished - Aug 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024


  • Data sharing
  • Research data management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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