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Research Data Management

What are research data?

Research data are the original sources or material that you have created or collated to conduct your research project. They can be digital or non-digital. The response to your research question is based on the analysis of these research data. Research data can have many forms: 

Data are facts, observations or experiences on which an argument or theory is constructed or tested. Data may be numerical, descriptive, aural or visual. Data may be raw, abstracted or analysed, experimental or observational. Data include but are not limited to: laboratory notebooks; field notebooks; primary research data (including research data in hardcopy or in computer readable form); questionnaires; audiotapes; videotapes; models; photographs; films; test responses. Research collections may include slides; artefacts; specimens; samples.
Source: UCL research Data Policy 

Good practices in managing your research data will help you to comply with legal, ethical, institutional and funders’ requirements. Planning ahead for Research Data Management (RDM), by using a Data Management Plan for instance, will allow you to ensure data qualityminimize riskssave time and ensure the long-term preservation of your data so that they can be re-used (if appropriate) by other researchers. RDM is becoming increasingly used as a means to raise awareness of research projects, improve their visibility and data citation. 

What is Research Data Management (RDM)?

Research Data Management (RDM) covers all of the decisions made during the research lifecycle to handle research data, from the planning stage of your project up to the long-term preservation of your data. Good data management practices are essential to meet the UT standards of Research Integrity and a direct link to the Dutch code of Research Integrity (2018). Good RDM safeguards the quality of your research; complies with funder requirements; increases the impact and integrity of your research; and as such, contributes to the university's research reputation. RDM starts before you collect your research data, and keeps your data verifiable, replicable, citable and reusable long afterward.

Many of the activities involved in RDM will most likely be familiar to you: saving work in formats that we can re-open later, naming files so we can find them quickly, keeping track of different versions of documents, backing up valuable data and controlling who has access to it. The UT and BMS can support you in this process and help to make it a less daunting, more rewarding task.

Most research funders and many academic publishers now have mandates requiring research data to be properly managed and, where possible, shared. Just as importantly though, properly managed research data is easier for you to work with.

Not only the University of Twente but also a growing number of research funders require you to explicitly think about the management and publication of your research data, both during and after your research project. The European Commission and the Dutch funders NWO and ZonMw have explicit policies on research data management. The video below highlights what you need to know about research data management in your research proposal for NWO and Horizon 2020:

More guidance on RDM

Read more about Research Data Management at the UT Research Support website or via the RDM services.

BMS Research Support

Course on Research Data Management | (for PhDs) for a full understanding of research data management and guidance in setting up your data management plan

Information specialist | for more information about managing your research data