In scientific research data includes the materials, products, procedures and other data sources that are part of the research project. Despite the principal investigator and the research team's work on the project, the sponsoring institution typically maintains ownership of a project's data as long as the PI submitted the grant through that institution and is employed by them. In other words the data are owned by the university. This is the reason why all documentations and recordings of the experiments have to stay in the laboratory.
Ensuring reliability and validity of the data are equally important for successful research. When data collection is carried out according to these two rules, researchers will be able to accurately assess, replicate and disseminate their results.
Collecting reliable data:
Data collection guidelines and methodologies should be carefully developed. The researchers must determine what sort of data will be collected and how this data will be analyzed. For data to be considered reliable, data collection should occur consistently and systematically throughout the course of the project.
Team members should be able to answer any question about a project, including the following:
This requires writing down all you encounter, all chemicals used (incl. Cat#, Lot# or Batch#) in your laboratory notebook.
Collecting valid data - Record Keeping
The laboratory notebook is your scientific diary. It should contain:
One should always be aware of all the guidelines that might apply to the project's implementation and dissemination, including
special regulations that involve animal subjects, hazardous materials or other controlled biological agents. Every research team member should be aware of project guidelines and standards for
collecting valid data, to ensure consistency throughout the project.