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Research Data Management: RDM Explained

What is research data management?

RDM wordcloud

Research data management (or RDM) is a term that describes the organization, storage, preservation, and sharing of data collected and used in a research project. The idea of sharing research data with other researchers and the wider public is an important element of Open Research approaches.

What is research data?

Research data is any information that has been collected, observed, generated or created to validate original research findings.  Although often digital, research data can come in a variety of formats.  For example:

  • Video and audio files
  • Lab notebooks
  • Images
  • Physical artefacts
  • Documents, spreadsheets and databases
  • Interview transcripts
  • Textual source material

Why is managing your data important?

There are many reasons why research data management is important:

  • Data, like journal articles and books, is a scholarly product.
  • Data (especially digital data) is fragile and easily lost.
  • There are growing research data requirements imposed by funders and publishers.
  • Research data management saves time and resources in the long run.
  • To comply with legislative requirements such as Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts.
  • Good management helps to prevent errors and increases the quality of your analyses.
  • Well-managed and accessible data allows others to validate and replicate findings.
  • RDM is a way to ensure research integrity and avoid reputational risk for researcher and institution.
  • Research data management facilitates sharing of research data and, when shared, data can lead to valuable discoveries by others outside of the original research team.

This video is part of MANTRA, the Research Data Management creative commons online course created by the University of Edinburgh Data Library

In this 2 minute video, Professor Jeff Haywood talks about the importance of research data management.


DMU Policy

Policy on Managing Research Data at DMU

"De Montfort University is committed to research excellence and integrity and seeks to promote high standards of research data management throughout the research data lifecycle." 

DMU RDM Training


Click to go yo the DMU Research Data Management Course