Research data management & sharing

What's Research data management & sharing?

What is research data?

The Concordat on Open Research Data defines research data as

"the evidence that underpins the answer to the research question, and can be used to validate findings regardless of its form (e.g. print, digital, or physical). These might be quantitative information or qualitative statements collected by researchers in the course of their work by experimentation, observation, modelling, interview or other methods, or information derived from existing evidence. Data may be raw or primary (e.g. direct from measurement or collection) or derived from primary data for subsequent analysis or interpretation (e.g. cleaned up or as an extract from a larger data set), or derived from existing sources where the rights may be held by others. Data may be defined as ‘relational’ or ‘functional’ components of research, thus signalling that their identification and value lies in whether and how researchers use them as evidence for claims."

What is Research Data Management?

Research data management is a mixture of systems, methods and processes, which are used and conducted in a way that is systematic, consistent and structured, to ensure that research data is findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. Managing research data well means that researchers are able to take full advantage of the data they hold, and also ensures that data can be preserved and shared, so that results can be checked and data can be reused in the future.

Research data has been managed independently by researchers for many generations, but the recent increase in the volume of data that is being generated, combined with the technological advances that allow us to organise and use data in new ways, means that there is now, more than ever, a need to take a shared approach to research data management.

Research data management is concerned with many aspects of research data:

Data Collection Using effective file formats, implementing file naming conventions and managing large volumes of data
Data Documentation Following documentation and metadata standards, making data easier to understand and reuse
Data Storage Using secure data systems to store and transfer data, with automatic file replication and versioning
Ethics and Legal Complying with relevant laws, managing ethical considerations and keeping sensitive data confidential
Data Preservation and Open Data Using open formats, using an appropriate repository, minting DOI's for effective citation, minimising restrictions

How do we manage research data at Strathclyde?

There are three key elements involved in managing data effectively at Strathclyde:

  • Create, implement and maintain a Data Management Plan
  • Use secure storage such as Strathcloud or the Network drives during research
  • Deposit completed data in a data repository, such as Pure

Researchers who do these three things well can be confident in how they manage their research data. The Research Data Management & Sharing team are available to help researchers carry out these activities.