On April 23 and 24, 2015, the workshop "Fundamentals of Data Management for Scientists in Zoonoses Research" took place at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. The aim of the workshop was to teach the 24 participants from 11 institutions how data are collected and stored so that they can be evaluated with common statistical programs.
The interdisciplinary workshop was led by Prof. Lothar Kreienbrock and Bettina Schneider from the Institute of Biometry, Epidemiology and Information Processing of TiHo Hannover
Close knowledge gaps on the subject of data management
Especially in the age of digitalization, there are more and more possibilities to generate and evaluate data. However, basic knowledge about how good data management can significantly increase the quality of data and its usability is often missing. In the study of (veterinary) medicine and natural sciences this knowledge is currently not or often only insufficiently imparted. This knowledge gap was addressed by the workshop in order to ensure the long-term availability of the data collected in zoonoses research and to improve their quality.
Data management as an important component of good scientific practice
The participants were taught that the field of data management should not be underestimated as an independent and important area in research work. Exercises were used to work out the conversion of data into uniform structures and their documentation.
At the beginning of the workshop it was explained that proper data management is also part of working according to the rules of "good scientific practice". Furthermore, the basics of data structures, data acquisition, consolidation and validation were explained using several examples. The reference to concrete application examples was felt by the scientists to be very helpful for their own work. At the informal meeting in the evening of the first day, further questions were also asked about the topics already dealt with in relation to their own problems and solutions were discussed.
In the long term, good data management can contribute to the sustainability of research projects and thus promote the work of the zoonoses research community. After the overall very positive experiences from this workshop, there is the possibility to hold a similar event again if necessary. The organisers would like to thank the National Research Platform for Zoonoses for funding the workshop.
Here you can find the program of the workshop..