About this Book


The Research Data Management Workbook is made up of a collection of exercises for researchers to improve their data management. The Workbook contains exercises across the data lifecycle, though the range of activities is not comprehensive. Instead, exercises focus on discrete practices within data management that are structured and can be reproduced by any researcher.

The book is divided into chapters, loosely by phases of the data lifecycle, with one or more exercises in each chapter. Every exercise comes with a description of its value within data management, instructions on how to do the exercise, original source of the exercise (when applicable), and the exercise itself.

The Workbook is intended as a supplement to existing data management education. If you would like to learn more about the principles of data management, please see the article “Foundational Practices of Research Data Management” (K. Briney et al., 2020) or read the book “Data Management for Researchers” (K. A. Briney, 2015).

Electronic Copies of the Workbook

You can access the latest edition of the book on the web at: https://caltechlibrary.github.io/RDMworkbook/.

You can access PDF and EPUB copies of edition 1.0 at: https://doi.org/10.7907/z6czh-7zx60


This is edition 1.2 of The Research Data Management Workbook.

ISBN (PDF): 978-1-60049-015-6

ISBN (EPUB): 978-1-60049-014-9

I’m happy to receive any feedback on the Workbook to improve it for the next edition; you can message me at briney@caltech.edu.


This book is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 4.0 International license.

I encourage you to use and adapt all of the exercises in this book for educational and personal use. Just remember to cite me.

Citing the Workbook

Please use the following when citing The Research Data Management Workbook:

The Author

Headshot of author, Kristin Briney. Image is of a smiling white woman with chin-length brown hair.

Kristin Briney is the Biology & Biological Engineering Librarian at the California Institute of Technology and author of the books “Data Management for Researchers” (K. A. Briney, 2015) and, with Becky Yoose, “Managing Data for Patron Privacy” (K. Briney & Yoose, 2022). She has a PhD in chemistry and an MLIS, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on research data management, institutional data policy, and patron privacy vis-a-vis library data handling. Kristin is an advocate for the adoption of the international date standard ISO 8601 (YYYY-MM-DD) and likes to spend her free time making data visualizations out of yarn and fabric.


Briney, K. A. (2015). Data Management for Researchers : Organize, Maintain and Share Your Data for Research Success. Pelagic Publishing. https://pelagicpublishing.com/products/data-management-for-researchers-briney
Briney, K., Coates, H., & Goben, A. (2020). Foundational Practices of Research Data Management. Research Ideas and Outcomes, 6, e56508. https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.6.e56508
Briney, K., & Yoose, B. (2022). Managing Data for Patron Privacy: Comprehensive Strategies for Libraries. ALA Editions. https://www.alastore.ala.org/mdpp