A Capability Maturity Model for Research Data Management

2.3 Activities Performed

Last modified by Arden Kirkland on 2014/06/06 12:54

2.3 Activities Performed

Activities Performed describes the roles and procedures necessary to implement a key process area. Activities Performed typically involve establishing plans and procedures (i.e., the specific actions that need to be performed), performing the work, tracking it, and taking corrective actions as necessary.

2.3.1 Capture / Acquire data and data documentation

Capturing how data are collected or digitized, what they mean, and how the data are structured is at the center of data documentation. Maintaining good data documentation is crucial for data reuse (UK Data Archive, 2014). Data documentation is also vital when the data are used by researchers who are unfamiliar with the data and/or were not involved in data collection.  

Procedures need to be established for data and data documentation, both for what should be collected and documented and how it should be collected and documented. Once procedures are established, they should be followed to standardize the data collection process. Recording of data should be done as soon as possible after data are collected to minimize the opportunities to introduce error (Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, n.d.). Each unique measurement should be recorded only once to minimize data collection effort and to avoid possible transcription errors (Borer et al, 2009).

Data should not be recorded with higher precision than was actually collected (DataONE, 2011c). Measurement uncertainty should be recorded if known (DataONE, 2011a). If actual measurements can not be obtained and an estimated value is recorded, a note identifying the estimate and estimation technique should also be recorded (DataONE, 2011b).

A note should be made if the date and time recorded with a record represents the date of data collection or date of data recording if those two are not the same. 

If data are collected from human subjects (e.g., via interviews or a survey), then the necessary informed consent documents should be collected at the same time. 


 Rubric for  2.3 - Activities Performed
Level 0
This process or practice is not being observed 
No steps have been taken to establish procedures for the workflow of collecting and documenting data
Level 1: Initial
Data are managed intuitively at project level without clear goals and practices 
The workflow for collecting and documenting data has been considered minimally by individual team members, but not codified
Level 2: Managed
DM process is characterized for projects and often reactive 
The workflow for collecting and documenting data has been addressed for this project, but has not taken wider community needs or standards into account
Level 3: Defined
DM is characterized for the organization/community and proactive 
The project follows approaches to the workflow of collecting and documenting data that have been defined for the entire community or institution
Level 4: Quantitatively Managed
DM is measured and controlled  
Quantitative quality goals have been established regarding the workflow of collecting and documenting data, and both data and practices are systematically measured for quality
Level 5: Optimizing
Focus on process improvement  
Processes regarding the workflow of collecting and documenting data are evaluated on a regular basis, and necessary improvements are implemented


Borer, E. T., Seabloom, E. W., Jones, M. B., & Schildhauer, M. (2009). Some Simple Guidelines for Effective Data Management. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 90(2), 205–214. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/0012-9623-90.2.205

Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). Responsible conduct of research: Data acquisition and management: Foundation text. Retrieved from http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/rcr/rcr_data/foundation/index.html#3_B

DataONE. (2011a). Describe measurement techniques. Retrieved from https://www.dataone.org/best-practices/describe-measurement-techniques

DataONE. (2011b). Identify values that are estimated. Retrieved from https://www.dataone.org/best-practices/identify-values-are-estimated

DataONE. (2011c). Store data with appropriate precision. Retrieved from https://www.dataone.org/best-practices/store-data-appropriate-precision

UK Data Archive. (2014). Create and manage data: Documenting your data. Retrieved from http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/create-manage/document

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Created by Jian Qin on 2013/10/08 20:55

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