Skip to Main Content

Managing Research Data: Home

What is research data?

Definitions of research data vary greatly, depending on the perspectives of the user of the data. For example, definitions of research data range from the very "Science" specific...

“Research data is defined as recorded factual material commonly retained by and accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings; although the majority of such data is created in digital format, all research data is included irrespective of the format in which it is created.“  Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council    


To the very "Arts" specific...

“Evidence which is used or created to generate new knowledge and interpretations. ‘Evidence’ may be intersubjective or subjective; physical or emotional; persistent or ephemeral; personal or public; explicit or tacit; and is consciously or unconsciously referenced by the researcher at some point during the course of their research.”  KAPTUR    


And even the more holistic definitions...

“Research data, unlike other types of information is collected, observed, or created, for purposes of analysis to produce original research results.” The University of Edinburgh. 


However you view or define your data, the challenges around (for example) managing data volumes, safely storing your data, and making your data accessible to your teammates or peers remain largely the same. Use this guide to break down those challenges and figure out the questions you need to ask of yourself and your team in order to effectively manage your research data, throughout the research lifecycle.