About research data management, University of Sydney Library

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About research data management

An introduction…

What is research data?

Research data varies greatly between disciplines, but it generally means data in the form of facts, observations, images, computer program results, recordings, measurements or experiences on which an argument, theory, test or hypothesis, or another research output is based. It may be raw, cleaned or processed, and may be held in any format or media. Some examples of research data are survey data, photographs, laboratory notebooks and diaries.


Research data management

Research data management is the practice of planning and making decisions about how you will collect, organise, manage, store, back up, preserve and share your digital and physical data during a research project, and after the project is complete. If you’re undertaking research, you should follow good research data management practice in order to comply with the national and institutional policies and codes that govern research and research data. Good research data management also benefits you as it can:

  • increase your research impact
  • improve the visibility of your research
  • allow you to find your data easily
  • allow you to securely share your data
  • reduce risk of data loss


The research data lifecycle

The research data lifecycle separates the research process into stages, and in each stage different research data management practices must be implemented. These guidelines are based around these stages to help you understand what practices need to be followed, and when they are most relevant.

research data lifecycle