What is research data management?

Research data management (RDM) refers to the organisation, storage and preservation of data created during a research project.


About research data management

RDM covers initial planning, day-to-day processes and long-term archiving and sharing. Research data can take many different forms, but is essentially the evidence used to inform or support research conclusions.

Some examples of research data are

  • video and voice recordings

  • questionnaires and interview transcripts

  • test results held in text files and spreadsheets

  • archive materials and handwritten notes

  • code and software

  • photographs and slides

  • laboratory notebooks

There are many potential benefits of good research data management for you, other researchers and the wider community. These include

  • efficiency and ease of data control, with reduced risk of data loss

  • greater visibility of data, leading to increased citations and future collaborations

  • demonstration of research integrity and validation of research results

  • compliance with funder and institutional policies and expectations

  • greater impact of research through knowledge transfer

  • research advances through reuse of data by researchers around the world

Further guidance

You can find out more about the benefits of research data management using the resources below:

Five selfish reasons to work reproducibly (Markowetz (2015) Genome Biol 16, 274)

Benefits of data management (CESSDA)

How and why you should manage your research data: a guide for researchers (JISC)

For further information, contact rdm@sheffield.ac.uk.