Research data is a valid form of research output and is increasingly being recognised as a valuable asset which should be managed and, when appropriate, shared. Some journals now require that data be made available to support research conclusions and the sharing of data or the provision of a data management plan may be required as a condition of research funding.
What is research data?
Research data can be anything that may be needed to validate the results of research. Not only is it the product of research, it could also be the starting point for future research.
Research data may include statistical data and analyses, measurements, questionnaires, interview transcripts, fieldwork notes, images, sound/video recordings, and artefacts. The data could be physical or digital; it may be original, transcribed or anonymised. Research data may have been created by and for a range of people and services. Data collected for one purpose may be repurposed by another set of researchers.
Why is managing your research data important?
Good data management allows you to:
This Piers Video Production documentary, Digital Curation Centre: Managing Research Data, offers an insight into the importance of providing access to research data and the risks of not managing data effectively.