Research data management is important for institutions as well as researchers. As the volume and complexity of digital research data increases, so does the need to address the challenges of managing, selecting, retaining and storing it.
What you can do
How well are you doing?
To maintain research integrity, institutions and researchers must ensure research data is preserved so that results can be verified and the data reused in future.
You can assess how well your institution or department is managing its research data at present using the CARDIO self-assessment tool.
Assess your research data
You can’t keep all your research data, so how do you decide what to keep? The Digital Curation Centre (DCC)’s guide, addresses issues such as assigning responsibility for appraisal and how to create an appraisal and selection policy.
Create a plan
Most funders require researchers to submit an outline data management plan with grant applications. The DCC’s planning tool guides researchers through the stages of plan development.
Be aware of the legal requirements
Researchers and institutions also need to comply appropriately with Freedom of Information legislation. Our Q&A addresses questions a researcher might ask when faced with an FoI request for research data.
Develop a policy
To manage research data effectively, many institutions will need a formal policy for support and guidance.
The University of Edinburgh’s policy lays down the key points to which the university aspires, while Oxford’s commitment to good research data management requires the deployment of a federated institutional data repository.
Resources and case studies
This topic is explored further in Simon Hodson's blog, seven rules of successful data management in universities.
You may also find the following useful:
- Jisc’s Managing Research Data programme outputs
- The ADMIRAL Project: A Data Management Infrastructure for Research Across the Life sciences
- University of Oxford - supporting data management for the humanities
- Digital Curation Centre - training courses, regional roadshows and a catalogue of advice and guidance.