Data documentation and data management

This course adds to the general PhD curriculum with the aim of:

  • Understanding current principles and standards for Data documentation
  • Formulating graphically a conceptual framework for a given study
  • Creating documentation at study/project and data content level in a given quantitative study
  • Cleaning data from scratch for analysis with appropriate documentation
  • Combining datasets for analysis

This page will be gradually extended and contain reference to course materials and supplementary materials. Parts of the materials are linked to the general biostatistics course at the faculty.

ECTS credits: 2

Staff and organisation
The course is taught by Associate Professor Jens Lauritsen with assistance from PhD trainees formerly attending the course.

  • Any question relating to licenses for Stata - contact SDU IT-Service.

Preparation for the course
Basic computer skills are a necessity for independent scientific work. This means that you understand the following:

  • How applications (word processor, statistics, database etc) and document files are organised on the computer
  • Know how to create folders, subfolders and copy files between folders on your Computer and to backup-places
  • Get/download an archive format file from the internet (zip, rar ...) and extract contents to a permanent folder
  • Know how to install software on the computer

If you are in doubt or lack skills find a "getting started on my computer" basic introduction for the relevant type of computer (Linux, Machintosh, Windows) and spend some time on these basic aspects.

Before the course you MUST complete the preparations mentioned below on your own computer.

Course contents by day

Day Main Content Materials Tasks and suggestions to complete before next course day



Computer skills

  • Train basic computer skills
  • Prepare computer
  • Follow this list

Make sure you know how to:

  • Copy files from internet
  • Know where folders on your computer are
  • Unzip materials from the web into a permanent folder

Day 1

Conceptual models
Defining data
Data Entry

Suggestions (look in help menu of the software)

  • Work over the Inkscape basic tutorial
  • Work over the EpiData Manager Introduction
  • Work over the EpiData Entry Client Introduction

Day 2

How to use Stata

  • User interface, setup folder
  • Running commands via menu dialogs and writing in command prompt
  • Adding user commands by the "findit" command (example venndiag)
  • Structure of help file
  • Work your way through "Getting started with Stata" which you find under help in Stata
  • Install venndiag routine using "findit" and test the files
  • Assignment: Create drawing (SVG file) of conceptual framework for your own study using Inkscape.

Send the file to: J Lauritsen

Day 3

Datamanagement and cleaning


Day 4

Merging files, conversion, saving data

Combine files

  • Spreadsheet copy (open bromar from day 3 in Stata and copy to Spreadsheet, copy back)
  • Combine/merge files Exercise - - - - Data files - - - - Solution do file

Assignment: Create documentation file (EPX) with project information for your own project. Pdf file with basic information on securing data in your project

Send the file to: J Lauritsen

Preparation for the course.

Specific preparation of your own computer consists of the following:

  • Create a folder (e.g. name DMcourse) with relevant subfolders: data, documents, dofiles, software
  • Acquire the course files (see link right), extract into the new folder you just created. Make sure this is not a temporary folder.
  • Organise (move) the files, such that all files are in an appropriate subfolder: "pdf" files in subfolder documents; asc, dta, epx, csv files in "subfolder" data etc.
  • Acquire the relevant (Linux/Mac/Windows) version of the Inkscape and EpiData software (see link right) and install the software.
    Decide if you wish to install in standard folders or in the "software" subfolder for the course. The decision depends on your rights to the computer and personal preferences.
  • Contact Anne Dorte Wiberg to get a Stata License for the course and install this.

Materials used are:

Course fee:
The course is free of charge for PhD students enrolled in Universities that have joined the "Open market agreement".
For other participants there is a course fee of DKK 5,747,-


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