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Research Data Management

What is Research Data Management (RDM)?

Research data management encompasses the collection, organisation, management, storage, preservation and sharing of research data during and beyond the term of a research project.

Research data can be loosely defined as the factual records of evidence produced during or arising from, research - e.g. data files, records, observations, findings, analyses, questionnaires etc. Data may occur in any format - e.g. field notebooks, digital text, image, audio or audiovisual files, samples or specimens.

Why is Research Data Management Important?

  • Policy compliance requirements: Data management is an essential requirement in the responsible conduct of research as per the SCU Research Responsible Conduct Policy and section 2 of The Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research as well as the SCU Research Data Management Policy.
  • Requirements from funding agencies: Bodies such as the ARC (Australian Research Council) and NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) require all administering organisations to deposit data and publications in an appropriate repository within six months of the completion of funded research, and often have a requirement for a research data management plan.
  • Facilitation of data sharing: Data sharing increases impact of the original research by providing increased citations and opportunities for new collaborations.
  • Increasingly, publishers of high-impact journals (such as Nature and Science) require that researchers provide access to data associated with articles published.
  • Good data management can increase research efficiency.

Policy / procedure

RDM across the project lifecycle

Good research data management should be considered before your start your project, and then throughout the project lifecycle.

If your project requires ethics approval, you will need to provide information on research data management.  This is separate, but complementary, to the research data management plan that researchers need to have in place for their research project.

Creating a Research Data Management Plan

First, create an account

Then you can create a plan. We recommend using the F.A.I.R. Guiding Principles for describing your data so that it can be provided Open Access via the Southern Cross Research Portal

The Research Data Management Plan you create is to:

  • Support good research practice
  • Assist you with meeting obligations of the SCU Research Data Management Policy.
  • Provide you with an awareness of factors that influence how your research data should be managed, such as the nature of the data being collected, how it is collected and any other requirements (e.g. sensitive data may need to be de-identified and contractual agreements with research partners may place additional restrictions on data management).  
  • Assist you in meeting any obligations from an external funding provider

Updating your Research Data Management Plan

If you have created an RDMP using DMPTool, you can continue to access your RDMP and update it as a living document during the project lifecycle.

Where can I find out more?

For more information, contact Dr Jo Edney.