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Research Data Management (RDM): Basics

Research Guide

Data Defined

What are research data?

Research Data encompass  ⇒

"...facts, observations, images, computer program results, recordings, measurements or experiences on which an argument, theory, test or hypothesis, or another research output is based.  Data may be numerical, descriptive, visual or tactile.  It may be raw, cleaned or processed, and may be held in any format or media."

Definition Source:
Queensland University of Technology. Management of Research Data Policy, D/2.8.3.
Accessed 2015-08-24

Image Source:
By W.Rebel (Own work)  CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Why Data Matter

"From Kepler using Tycho Brahe’s data to build a heliocentric model of the solar system, to the birth of statistical quantum mechanics, to Darwin’s theory of evolution, to the modern theory of the gene, every major scientific revolution has been driven by one thing, and that is data.”

John Quackenbush, Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Harvard School of Public Health

Shaw, Jonathan.  Why "Big Data" Is a Big Deal: Information science promises to change the world.  2014.  Harvard Magazine [Internet].  [cited 2015 September 14];  March-April:  Available from:

Data Management Definition and Life Cycle

What is Research Data Management?

The management of data throughout the scholarly life cycle --
from creation to preservation and to possible re-use.

One View of the Data Life Cycle

Data life cycle

See DataONE for full explanation of all these stages.

Image Source:
Courtesy of DataONE Best Practices

Data Management Help

Rocco Piccinino, Science Librarian


Young Library 106

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