Authors and Advisors


Jennifer Darragh, M.L.I.S.

Jennifer Darragh is a Senior Research Data Management Consultant at Duke University. She is part of a larger Research Data Management team within the Duke University Libraries. Jennifer has a long-standing academic public services career supporting researchers throughout the research life cycle. Prior to joining Duke University, Jennifer was the Data Services and Sociology Librarian at Johns Hopkins University, the Social and Behavioral Sciences Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Data Archivist for the Population Research Institute at Penn State University. Throughout her career Jennifer has gained particular expertise in the management, use, and archiving of protected/restricted data.

Rebecca W. Beerman, Ph.D.

Rebecca W. Beerman is a Scientific Integrity Associate in the ASIST office (Advancing Scientific Integrity, Services, and Training) at Duke University School of Medicine. She obtained her B.S. degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2011, she joined Duke University as a Postdoctoral Associate and carried out research there until she recently started work in the ASIST office, focusing on improving data management practices and scientific research culture at Duke.

Jennifer L. Ariansen

Jennifer L. Ariansen is a Scientific Integrity Associate in the Duke School of Medicine Advancing Scientific Integrity, Services and Training office. Jennifer completed a B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Neurobiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the ASIST team, Jennifer worked in science facilitation of maternal and paediatric clinical HIV trials at Family Health International. Throughout her career, Jennifer has held particular interest in research integrity and culture in both the basic and clinical research sciences.

Marcella Sarzotti-Kelsoe, Ph.D.

Marcella Sarzotti-Kelsoe, Associate Dean for Advancing Research Practices, directs the newly established Advancing Scientific Integrity, Services and Training (ASIST) Office at Duke University. The ASIST Office supports the Duke University School of Medicine's commitment to maintain an environment of scientific integrity. She is a faculty member in the Departments of Immunology and Surgery, with training and experience in basic and translational immunology. She also directs a Global Quality Assurance Program, developed and pioneered at Duke University, to oversee compliance with Good Clinical Laboratory Practice Guidelines by domestic and international laboratories performing endpoint immunogenicity and proficiency testing for multiple HIV and non-HIV vaccine clinical trials.

Lead advisors

Rebecca L. Davies, Ph.D.

Rebecca L. Davies received her Ph.D. in comparative animal physiology from the University of Minnesota and is an Associate Professor in the Veterinary Population Medicine department at the College of Veterinary Medicine. She is the Director of Quality Central at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Quality Central provides scientists with tools and support for integrating quality assurance (QA) best practices into academic research, service and training programs. Rebecca is developing training programs for research trainees and other scientists to help them use quality management systems and QA best practices to provide assurance that research data and records are accurate, complete, and can be readily reconstructed. This assurance stems from the use of good documentation practices, the integration of quality checkpoints throughout the research life cycle, and the adoption of research monitoring strategies to ensure continuous improvement.

Rebecca's interests include the adoption of voluntary QA practices within non-regulated research programs, sustainable models for incorporating research QA into basic research environments, research on research to improve research rigor and reproducibility, and the use of laboratory error data and QA metrics to drive continuous improvement in laboratory and research settings.

Richard Coico, Ph.D.

Richard Coico is Professor of Cell Biology and Medicine and Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Center at SUNY-Downstate College of Medicine. As an immunologist, his research focuses on the investigation of lymphocyte regulation of immune responses. His translational research activities include the study of peptide immunization strategies to develop effective vaccines. His laboratory uses computational and bioinformatics approaches to identify candidate peptide vaccines for hemorrhagic viruses such as Ebola and Lassa. His group was the first to identify immunogenic Lassa virus peptides capable of stimulating protective cytotoxic T cell responses. Richard has been a leader in medical education, specifically as it relates to the biomedical disciplines of microbiology and immunology. He has served on the National Board of Medical Examiners and has chaired several national meetings including those sponsored by the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs organization of which he is past-President.


E. Andrew Balas, M.D., Ph.D.

E. Andrew Balas leads academic, local, and national initiatives facilitating innovative life sciences research responsive to societal needs and developing global competitiveness in the production of new scientific knowledge. Andrew serves as Professor at Augusta University, Director of the Biomedical Research Innovation Laboratory, Vice President of the Friends of the NIH National Library of Medicine, member of the American College of Medical Informatics, and is an elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. His studies about delay and waste in the transfer of research results to health care are often mentioned reference points in translational research initiatives. The results have been cited by numerous research studies and policy-makers. His academic credentials include over 100 publications, externally funded research in excess of 10 million dollars and publications that cumulatively attracted thousands of citations. He obtained degrees in medicine (M.D.), medical informatics (Ph.D.), and applied mathematics (MS).

Claudia von Vacano, Ph.D.

Dr. Claudia von Vacano is the Executive Director of the Social Sciences D-Lab and the Digital Humanities (DH) at University of California (UC), Berkeley. She is the lead online course developer of the SAGE Campus "Introduction to Applied Data Science Methods for Social Scientists." She received a master's degree from Stanford University in Learning, Design, and Technology. Her doctorate is in Policy, Organizations, Measurement, and Evaluation from UC Berkeley. Her expertise is in organizational theory and behavior and in educational and language policy implementation. The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, and the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, among others, have recognized her scholarly work and service contributions.

Accessibility advisor

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with Masters in Human-Computer Interaction, Linguistics, and Information Science. She has over 15 years of experience as a manager with the online learning team at the University of Edinburgh, where she specialized in usable and accessible digital practice, tutored on the groundbreaking Masters in Digital Education, and developed online staff training on accessible e-learning and online tutoring skills. Since retiring from the University at the end of 2015, Wilma has provided consultancy services on all aspects of online learning, with a special focus on accessibility and usability issues.

Module structure



  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes

Module files

    Module 2: Data management

    • Research data ecosystem
    • Stages of the research data life cycle
    • Data stewardship practices: Organization
    • Data stewardship practices: Governance and ownership
    • Data stewardship practices: Data security
    • Understanding best practices for common data types: Spreadsheets
    • Understanding best practices for common data types: Image data
    • Archiving data
    • Options for archiving data
    • Required data management and sharing plans
    • Application


  • Module summary
  • Resource bank

Course features

Course features include:

  • Scenario-based activities from the fields of Biomedical Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Physical Sciences and Engineering.
  • Practical guidance on understanding best practice for common data types, such as spreadsheets and images.
  • A range of resources relating to research data life cycles, and the organization, governance and ownership, and security of data.

Supporting institutions

  • Boston University, Boston MA
  • Duke University, Durham NC
  • Ohio State University, Columbus OH
  • Oxford University, Oxford UK
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN
  • University of Southern Maine, Portland ME