Getting started creating data dictionaries: how to create a shareable dataset

Erin Buchanan, Sarah Crain, Ari Cunningham, Hannah Johnson, Hannah Stash, Marietta Papadatou-Pastou, Peder Isager, Rickard Carlsson, Balazs Aczel

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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As researchers embrace open and transparent data sharing, they will need to provide informationabout their data that effectively helps others understand its contents. Without properdocumentation, data stored in online repositories such as OSF will often be rendered unfindableand unreadable by other researchers and indexing search engines. Data dictionaries andcodebooks provide a wealth of information about variables, data collection, and other important facets of a
dataset. This information, called metadata, provides key insights into how the data might be further used in research and facilitates search engine indexing to reach a broader audience of interested parties. This tutorial first explains the terminology and standards surrounding data dictionaries and codebooks. We then present a guided workflow of the entire process from source data (e.g., survey answers on Qualtrics) to an openly shared dataset accompanied by a data dictionary or codebook that follows an agreed-upon standard. Finally, we explain how to use freely available web applications to assist this process of ensuring that psychology data are findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR; Wilkinson et al.,2016).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2019


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