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Research Data Management (RDM)

Research Guide

What is Research Data?

Research data is any information generated by research that serves to validate original research findings.

This includes:

  • Images
  • GIS data
  • Audiovisual material
  • Questionnaire or survey results
  • Spreadsheets
  • Computer program results
  • Measurements
  • Lab notebooks
  • and much, much more!

Data may be quantitative or qualitative.  It may be raw, cleaned or processed, and may be held in any format or media.

What is Research Data Management?

Research Data Management refers to the organization, preservation, and storage of data collected during the research process. The goal is ensuring documentation and transparency of research results, and making data available for possible re-use by other scholars.

Why Does It Matter?

Increasingly, major funding agencies like the NSF and the NIH require that all research data from original research be made publicly available upon publication of research articles. This ensures openness of research. Data should meet the principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability (FAIR). 

What is a Data Management Plan?

A data management is your blueprint, laid out before research begins, of how your data will organized, stored, and preserved, both during and after the research project.

Why have a Data Management Plan? 

  • Meets funder requirements
  • Preserves data for sharing, re-use, and collaboration, and provides a foundation for continual exploration and innovation   
  • Ensures verification of research findings and academic integrity
  • Promotes open science and open access of information
  • Increases citations and scholarly recognition for researchers work           
  • Promotes more efficient handling, processing, accessing, and storage of data across current and future research staff, teams and projects  
  • Enhances researchers' ability to discover and retrieve data
  • Supports teaching and learning

Typical parts of a data management plan for granting agencies:

  • Description and organization of data and metadata
  • Plans for data access, sharing, and reuse
  • Plans for short-term and long-term storage or preservation of data
  • Financial or other key administrative
     support needed to manage data
  • Security, ethics, and intellectual property