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Resources for the complete research life cycle

CRESS has collected a range of information and resources to support research in every stage of the research life cycle.

Pre-award - Advice, forms, & templates

Faculty members in the Faculty of Social Sciences interested in applying for external research support or grants should discuss their plans with the Faculty’s Research Support Team. The Research Support team also manages a folder of

  • ROADS Guidance Documents,
  • Quick Guides,
  • sample applications, and
  • related templates (e.g., for budgets) and forms (e.g., the GAAP proposal routing form).

Information is included for various SSHRC grants, including

  • Connection,
  • Insight Development (IDG),
  • Insight (IG),
  • Partnership Development (PDG) and
  • Partnership Grants (PG).

To receive a password to access these resources, please email socscigranttools@mcmaster.ca from your McMaster email address.

Pre-award - Data management plans

Empirical research that involves the collection or creation of digital data should be guided by the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, paying particular attention the Expectations, which include

  • data management planning;
  • balancing openness and other “commercial, legal and ethical obligations”; and
  • following best practices in storing, archiving, sharing, and citing research data.

The SSHRC endorses these principles in its Research Data Archive Policy.

The library provides information and guidance for research data management, including tools for the pre-award or proposal planning stage. Becoming familiar with the expectations during data collection/analysis and preservation/archiving may also be helpful.  

Research - Ethics & privacy

For research involving humans, researchers should consult the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. The McMaster Research Ethics Board has additional guidance regarding research with humans.    

Research involving humans and digital data should pay particular attention to Chapter 5, “Privacy and Confidentiality” of the Tri-Council Policy. The Tri-Council also has an interpretation document related to privacy and confidentiality.

 

Research - Data management

Empirical research that involves the collection or creation of digital data should be guided by the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, paying particular attention the Expectations, which include

  • data management planning;
  • balancing openness and other “commercial, legal and ethical obligations”; and
  • following best practices in storing, archiving, sharing, and citing research data.

The SSHRC endorses these principles in its Research Data Archive Policy.


The library provides information and guidance for research data management, including during data collection/analysis and preservation/archivingIf the data includes private information on humans, then it is important to consider issues of research ethics & privacy. PEDAL also has facilities for the analysis and storage of private or sensitive data.

Data Collection & Availability

CRESS coordinates the activities of several labs that have data collections available for researchers, including the RDC and PEDAL. McEEL has interviewing and focus group facilities as well as an experimental lab. Other labs, including CRUNCH, the Sensory Ethnography, and Sustainable Archeology, have research equipment available for use by researchers.

The University Library has a data collection and maintains a membership in the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, which maintains a large data repository (login required). The Library also has a Library Data Service, which helps researchers find relevant research datasets and provides research data management advice.

Data analysis facilities

CRESS coordinates the activities of several labs that have facilities for data analysis, including the RDC and PEDAL. UTS-managed labs for students also have specialized software for data analysis, including Stata, SPSS, and R.

CRESS also organizes a speaker series on a range of topics related to qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-method empirical social science research.  

Data analysis workflow

Similar to SSHRC data sharing recommendations, scientific journals sometimes require researchers to make publicly available their data and analysis scripts to the extent allowed by ethics protocols. These resources provide some guidance for researchers interested in establishing replicable workflows:

Knowledge mobilization - Research repositories

Researchers can often increase the accessibility and impact of their work by depositing copies of research papers or articles in open access repositories. Since 2015, Tri-Council policy requires that funded research be publically accessible. If the work has been previously published, search the SHERPA/RoMEO database to determine a publisher’s open access policies for self-archiving.

Social science researchers should consider two open access repositories for their work:

  • MacSphere, McMaster’s institutional repository, which includes pre-prints, post-prints and final versions of journal articles as allowed by publishers. With some exceptions, MacSphere is fully open for everyone to access and read, with infrastructure that makes items fully searchable using search engines such as Google Scholar.
  • SocArXiv, is a non-profit, open access repository for social science researchers to publish pre-print versions of their articles.

 

The SSHRC Research Data Archive Policy requires that research data be made publically available, within the constraints of research ethics requirements. Some scholarly journals also expect authors to make their data and analysis scripts available for replication.

For sharing and archiving data with the public, the library recommends the Scholars Portal DataversePEDAL has facilities for archiving and controlling future access to private or sensitive data.

Additional resources include: