Eating Our Own Carrot Sticks

One phrase that’s bound to come up at every data management conference is “carrot versus stick” vis-a-vis incentivizing researchers to manage their data better. Carrots are rewards for good practices and sticks are requirements and their consequences relating to data management. There is inevitably discussion over which method is more effective for implementing data management.

Another phrase that I often hear in similar settings is “eating our own dog food” or “drinking our own champagne”. This is another way of saying “practice what you preach”, in that data experts should apply their advice to their own files.

These phrases are used so often that I’ve decided that they need to be combined as “eating our own carrot sticks”. It’s at least more appetizing than some of the other “eating our own…” options and a bit of snarkiness provides relief from predictability.

But to say something serious in this blog post, all of these phrases emphasize the importance of *doing* data management. It’s not enough to have the knowledge or to be given the incentive. It is only in the act of actually managing the data that we get value.

So I challenge you, whether you are a data management novice or an expert, to find one new data management practice to implement this month. Because a carrot stick a day keeps the data disaster away*.


* Okay, now I’m taking it too far, I know. I can’t help myself.