Research Data

Research data includes data, records, files and other evidence on which research conclusions are based, including but not limited to:

  • Results of experiments or simulations
  • Statistics and measurements
  • Models and software
  • Observations e.g. fieldwork
  • Survey results – print or online
  • Interview recordings and transcripts, and coding applied to these
  • Images, from cameras and scientific equipment
  • Textual source materials and annotations
  • Physical artefacts and samples.

The simplest way of defining Research Data is as material that supports your research output.

Benefits of looking after your data

There are many benefits to good data management. Here are the most common:

  • Meet funder requirements:
    • Most funders have a policy on the management of research data which must be complied with
    • Industrial collaborators may have different practices with which you will need to comply
  • The integrity of your research is improved and can be recognised:
    • Research data and records are accurate, complete, authentic and reliable
    • Data security is improved and the risk of data loss minimised
    • Providing access to your datasets enables others to validate your findings
    • Responsible use of public resources to fund research is demonstrated
    • It supports the responsible communication of research results
  • Increase the impact of your research:
  • Support future use:
    • Your data may be reused by researchers in other fields for different purposes
    • It can be discovered in the future by others. See The Royal Society. Science as an Open Enterprise: Final Report, 21 June 2012. Viewed 18 November 2013.
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