As part of your research project you'll be using and generating research data. This module explains the importance of managing this data. But before we can manage it, we need to understand what is meant by "research data".
What Are Research Data?
At Deakin University, research data is broadly defined as:
All data collected, observed, or created by researchers in the course of their work, for the purposes of analysis to produce original research results.
The University of Leeds provides another definition:
Research data is any information that has been collected, observed, generated or created to validate original research findings.
The Australian National Data Service definition includes examples of the forms research data can take:
Research data 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. Data may be numerical, descriptive, visual or tactile. It may be raw, cleaned or processed, and may be held in any format or media.
Why Do You Need to Manage Research Data?
Click the icons below to find out why managing research data is important.
How Do You Manage Research Data?
All research projects are unique, so there’s no single best way to manage research data. However, adopting good practices for planning, describing, storing, preserving, and sharing research data are guaranteed to save you time and trouble in the long run.
Creating an effective data management plan will enable you to recognise which aspects of your data collection and management are of particular importance, and take steps accordingly. Head over to the Data Management Plan section of this guide to learn more.