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What is RDM?

What is RDM?

Research data management concerns the organisation of data, from its entry to the research cycle through to the dissemination and archiving of valuable results. It aims to ensure reliable verification of results, and permits new and innovative research built on existing information. (Whyte & Tedds, 2011)

A research data management system should cater for the following aspects:

  • Creating a data management plan
  • Storing the data collected
  • Sharing of research data

Why is RDM important?

Research data is of significant value to researchers and good stewardship of research data is necessary to:

  • Ensure research integrity and validation of results:  Accurate and complete research data are an essential part of the evidence necessary for evaluating and validating research results and for reconstructing the events and processes leading to them.
  • Increase research efficiency: Good research data management will enable you to organise your files and data for access and analysis without difficulty. If a member of a research team were to leave during the course of a project, it would help newcomers to understand the nature and the extent of work done so far. Well-managed data also helps individual researchers track the course of their own progress. 
  • Facilitate data security and minimise the risk of data loss:  Use of appropriate data storage facilities will help to reduce the loss of your data through accidents, or neglect.  
  • Ensure wider dissemination and increased impact:  Research data can have significant ongoing value and can continue to have impact long after the completion of a research project. Retention and management of research data can often facilitate online sharing.  
  • Enable research continuity through secondary data use:  Sharing well-managed research data and enabling others to use it will also help to prevent duplication of effort, allowing new and research to be built on existing information. 
  • Ensure compliance with a funding agency’s requirements: An increasing number of funding bodies request or require that their funding recipients create and follow plans for managing data, storing or preserving it in the long term, and sharing some, or all data products with the public.

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