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Research GELIFES Research Data Management

my MSc thesis

How to store ...
Archive file name
Format: MSc_thesis_<lastname>_<year>.zip

To ensure general accessibility of the archives, all file names, metadata and other description files and comment lines in code must be in English. File names should not contain special characters other than dashes (-) or underscores (_); use underscores instead of spaces.

Contents of the .zip archive
  1. The final version of the MSc project report, both as a text file (rtf, doc, docx) and a as a pdf file.
  2. All primary (raw) data underlying the document. Primary data include a scanned pdf of original data sheets, field books etc. by preference; if this is not possible raw data should be at least included in some electronic way, i.e., in a table, spreadsheet or text file.
  3. All secondary (processed) data used in the preparation of the document.
  4. All program code and scripts used to produce the final results such as figures, tables, statistical analyses etc.
  5. Relevent metadata: a text file read_me_first.txt describing the data sources in relation to (corresponding sections of) the report. If many data files are present, additional metadata can be included in a spreasheet or database that is referred to in the read_me_first.txt file.
Contents of the metadata file
  1. The following metadata fields:
    • Student name
    • Student number
    • Title of the MSc report
    • Year of publication
    • Research group
    • Supervisor(s)
    • Contact information of the (daily) supervisor
  2. A short description of all data files in the archive
  3. If relevant: A short description of external data sets used for the study, including a reference to their home institute & the principal scientist responsible for their quality
  4. A short description of the purpose of program code and script files in the archive, and their associated parameter files
  5. If relevant: references to any on-line programs that were used to produce (parts of) the report

Download metadata template file

Example: read_me_first.txt
Student name: F. Laso
Student number: s1234567
Title: Alternative nutrient loops in African savannas
Year: 2013
Research group: Community and Conservation Ecology
Supervisors: M. Veldhuis & H. Olff.
Contact: m.p.veldhuis[at]

Contents of the archive:
1. A pdf and text file (docx) of the thesis.
2. A raw datafile (Excel document) and a processed final datafile (.csv) that is used for most analyses. You might need to save the worksheets from the raw datafile as a separate .csv file before R can read it.
3. 7 R-scripts for the different parts of the analysis.
Which MSc reports to archive
Required: All MSc studies done within GELIFES, supervised by a GELIFES staff member
External MSc studies done at another institute, but with a GELIFES staff member being responsible for the final grading, e.g. MEME students registered at the RUG doing a project at Harvard
Voluntary: External MSc studies where the student temporarily registers at a different university for the duration of the study
MSc studies by exchange students not registered at the RUG, e.g. Erasmus students

NOTE: A project archived as a MSc thesis that is published in a journal, book or PhD thesis at a later moment, must be archived again as a publication or as part of the PhD thesis.

When to deposit the archive

MSc students should deposit the data with their daily supervisor no later than the date of handing in the final version of the MSc report. A grade for the project will only be awarded when all data (including metadata!) are deposited with the daily supervisor of the project (PhD student, postdoc, senior staff member). The daily supervisor should deposit the data in the repository no longer than 1 month after the grade has been awarded to the student.

How to deposit the archive

The data are deposited by sending an email with the full reference of the publication, and the zip file of the data archive to gelifes-data For sending larger files (>5 MB) the service SURF File Sender can be used, or other file transfer services such as Unishare, Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer.

For questions or problems, contact the data manager.

Last modified:11 December 2020 3.10 p.m.