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Research Data Management: Home

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Author/Copyright holder: Ian. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This Research Data Management guide is designed to present an introduction to research data and the management of data for the research community at ECU.


What is Research Data?

Research data could be anything that may be needed to validate the results of research. Not only is it the product of research, it could also be the starting point for new research.

Research data could include images, sound/video recordings, artifacts, surveys, questionnaires, interview transcripts, statistical data and analyses, measurements, fieldwork notes.

Some definitions of what constitutes data are found on the ANDS (Australian National Data Service) website


What are Research Records?

The paperwork surrounding and supporting research projects include items such as administrative and research correspondence, forms, clearances, reports, master lists, etc. Records such as these are important to manage during and after the project.


What is Metadata?

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) in their publication Understanding metadata describes metadata as structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource.

  • Descriptive metadata describes a resource for purposes such as discovery and identification. It can include elements such as title, abstract, author, and keywords, for tables: column and row names, etc.
  • Structural metadata indicates how compound objects are put together, for example, how pages are ordered to form chapters.
  • Administrative metadata provides information to help manage a resource, such as when and how it was created, file type and other technical information, and who can access it.