Skip to main content

Research Data Management

Research Data Managemnt

Responsible data management has increasingly become an expected element of high quality research.

Discussing what is to be collected, the amount being collected (size of files), security of data collected, ownership, responsibility, etc., are issues important not only to the the individual researcher but also to the institution where the research is taking place. Funding body mandates both nationally and internationally are also considering these issues and have placed emphasis on researchers providing evidence of appropriate provision for data management and curation in grant applications.

Why Do Researchers Need Research Data Management?

What Should Data Management Plans Consider?

Basic research data management is required by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Compliance with the Code is already a requirement for ARC and NHMRC funding and is likely to be mandated by other funding bodies, government and research institutions in the near future.

On the practical side, a data management plan assists in maintaining the longevity and accessibility of your research outputs.

The Research Data Itself:

  • what sort of data do you intend to collect and generate?
  • how will you collect & generate this data?
  • volume of data?
  • any software required?
  • confidentiality and privacy requirements (need to de-identify participants?)
  • quality control considerations?

The Ownership, Copyright, Licensing and Intellectual Property, Sharing Data:

  • who does the data belong to (especially in collaborative projects)?
  • who will have access to the data?
  • intended use of data collected
    • personal use only
    • can the data be sold?
    • intend to share data with other researches through an Open Access Data Repository?
      • apply a Creative Commons license?
      • available after an embargo period
      • available by application (mediation)
      • data completely/partially available

Organising and Documenting the Data:

  • file formats and version control
  • naming protocols for file names
  • describing data collected (metadata) so it makes sense later on
    • what, where, why,who, how, etc.
    • FAIR concept
      • Findable
      • Accessible
      • Interoperable
      • Re-usable
  • who is responsible for collecting what data
  • quality control

Storage of Data and Administrative Paperwork (Preservation):

  • during collection - where will you store the data & the backup copies?
  • post-project storage of data - long term copy, for how long?
  • long term access to data and software to view data
  • ECU Records and Archives Management Services

Compliance with:

  • institutional policies and legislation requirements
  • funder's policies and legislation requirements 
  • standard industrial practices

Possible Sharing of Data:


What is Metadata?

Metadata can be described as structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource (National Information Standards Organization (NISO). Understanding metadata)

  • 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.

Some Guidelines for Creating File Names

Whenever you create a file name you should always keep the golden rule in mind: Will I be able to find, and know what this file contains in 6 months?

ARDC Research Data Rights Management Guide

Choose the best copyright license to meet the requirements of sharing your data, maximise the ability of reuse for innovation whilst meeting legal, ethical and grant requirements. 


Loading ...

Edith Cowan University acknowledges and respects the Nyoongar people, who are the traditional custodians of the land upon which its campuses stand and its programs operate.
In particular ECU pays its respects to the Elders, past and present, of the Nyoongar people, and embrace their culture, wisdom and knowledge.