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Data Collection, Databases, and Data Management Plans

Data collection and databases

Collecting, managing, preserving, and sharing research data efficiently and effectively are essential capabilities for most researchers. There are many technologies available to assist in these tasks.

Vanderbilt has developed an online database system—REDCap, or Research Electronic Data Capture—that is now used by thousands of scholars around the world. Though initially designed for medical research, REDCap is highly flexible and can be adapted to many research environments. The REDCap team ( is available to assist faculty, staff, and students in creating, developing, and managing secure data collection instruments. REDCap staff offer both introductory and advanced training sessions, and are available for one-on-one consultations and online guidance.

Data management plans

Once data have been collected, additional steps should be taken to store, protect, and, in many instances, make them available to other researchers, scholars, and the general public.

Vanderbilt has resources to assist you in creating a data management plan, which many funding agencies require as part of the application and grant management process. For research data management services and guidance, contact Dr. Clifford Anderson, Director, Scholarly Communications: ( 

Sources of additional information on data management plans: