Research data management – supporting quality research
Research data is at the heart of research. Managing that data responsibly is essential. Read on to discover definitions, funder policies and how to publish your research data.
What is research data management?
Research Data Management refers to the storage, access and preservation of any data produced to underpin research . Research data management, properly done, supports high quality research, while ensuring the reproducibility and the security of data.
How to manage your research data
We have made it easy for our researchers to find out how to organise, plan and reuse their data during their projects. Visit our Managing active research data page where we’ve brought all our resources and guidelines together.
From research data to open data
Research data is any data used to underpin a research question, regardless of its format, for instance print, digital or physical data. Unless it’s also open data, it can’t be viewed by anyone other than those involved in the original research.
Open research data is research data that’s freely accessible, used, modified and shared, provided that there is appropriate acknowledgement.
Open data safeguards good research practice, because nothing’s hidden. So it enables high quality research and facilitates innovation.
For example, researchers with fresh perspectives can use data in innovative ways or companies can use data to help them develop new products. This can lead to substantial economic benefits and help growth.
Ready to publish your data and share your research?
Store and publish through Figshare, City’s institutional repository and publishing platform for digital research outputs like data, images, video and audio recordings, posters, presentations or reports. Find more details
The benefits of making data accessible
- Increases the impact of research and possibly the citation rates of publications based on open data
- Supports the verification and replication of research results by other researchers, thus protecting against any hint of fraud
- Establishes new links to potential collaborators, students and next generation of researchers
- Enhances the visibility of research projects.
For the research community:
- Preserves data for future use
- Provides important teaching resources
- Reinforces open scientific inquiry and debate.
For the public:
- Advances science for the benefit of society
- Promotes innovation through novel perspectives on research data.
For the research funders:
- Maximises return on investment by promoting secondary use of data and avoiding duplication of data collection.
What do funders say about research data?
Before starting a grant application, we advise researchers to note the guidelines produced by funders in relation to open access and research data management. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of funder guidelines [drop down to: The Digital Curation Centre also provides summarised information on funders’ policies.
|Funder||Key information||Links and other useful facts|
|EC Horizon 2020 programme||Open Data infographic|
Guidelines on implementation of Open Access to scientific publications and research data
|Research Councils UK||RCUK data policy|
|EPSRC||EPSRC data expectations|
|ESRC||ESRC research data policy link title|
|AHRC||RCUK Data Policy|
|MRC||MRC open research data|
|BBSRC||BBSRC data sharing policy|
|NERC||NERC data management planning informationNERC data policy|
|Wellcome Trust||Wellcome trust policy on data, software and materials management and sharing|
|NIHR||NIHR Open Access policy|
|Royal Society||Royal Society conditions of award in relation to funding schemes|
Creating a data management plan
A Data management plan can make your data FAIR:
It is a statement that describes how you will manage your data during and after the end of your research project. Specifically, it should include information on:
- Type and volume of data you are planning to collect
- Documenting and organising the collected data
- Ethical and legal compliance
- Selection, long-term storage, preservation and security of data (i.e. backing up data in a secure location)
- Methods to ensure that action has be taken to avoid data loss
- Plans for sharing the data and any restrictions if applicable
- Resources required to deliver your plan
- It saves time long-term as it helps you plan ahead for your research step-by-step.
- It helps ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act (1998)
- It follows City's Framework for Good Practice
- It helps you manage risk (e.g. data loss).
- It is a requirement for most UK funders when applying for funding.
A list of funders requiring data management plans are listed under funder policies and online resources below.
Jisc has now created a checklist to help you create a solid RDM plan.
Download the form
On the right hand-side of this page, you can also find the slides from the RDM training that City run in collaboration with Research Consulting that can give you more information on the reasons for undertaking RDM.
If you require more information on the Data Management Plans, visit the Digital Curation Centre.