ENU Research &  Innovation Blog

Why does Research Data Management matter?

Research data management (RDM) is a way for you as a researcher to manage your data during the lifetime of a research project and beyond.

Why? sticks (requirements) and carrots (benefits)!

Policy compliance:

Research funding comes from public money. Funders want researchers to provide evidence that the Funders are getting good value for money, this is often through their open access requirements. In recent years funders have developed policies for the management and sharing of research data which must be complied with as part of the terms and condition of application and award.

Commercial collaborators may have different practices with which you will need to comply.

Universities have obligations to their researchers and the research funders. The Edinburgh Napier University Research Data Policy must be adhered to by researchers for all research activity which generates data whether externally funded or not.

Integrity of your research is improved:

Research data and records are shown to be accurate, complete, authentic and reliable.

Others can use your data-sets to validate your findings.

Responsible use of public resources to fund research is demonstrated.

You are supporting the responsible communication of research results.

The risk of data loss and/or data security breaches is minimised

Future research:

Data may be reused by researchers in other fields for different purposes

Make your research outputs more visible – Data is available for discovery and re-use by yourself and others in the future

When do I need to consider Research Data Management?


Planning a Project
Many Funders are now asking you to do this as part of their application process, but even if they don’t, you should do this as a routine activity. The University also expects this to happen as per the Edinburgh Napier University Research Data Policy.

Before you start, you should know what your research project will involve and what data you will generate. You should also:

  • Check funder requirements
  • Read the Edinburgh Napier University Research Data Policy
  • Get training on Data management planning
  • Write a data management plan
  • Assess if there are any costs associated with managing your data
  • Request a plan review by emailing RDM@napier.ac.uk
  • Arrange additional data storage, if in excess of the limits provided by IS

Post award/project data management
During and beyond the lifetime of the project you should manage the data in accordance with your plan. You may need to modify your plan and data management during this time to take into account unforeseen circumstances, which can occur during research projects. This includes:

  • Secure storage
  • Organising data appropriately for future use/access/sharing
  • Managing access to your data
  • Sharing finalised data-publications, dissemination activities, repository, licencing etc.
  • Long-term storage of data – repository, archived storage for non-sharable data.

Help and other resources

Contact RDM@napier.ac.uk for more information or advice on any aspect of research data management.

Edinburgh Napier RDM information: https://staff.napier.ac.uk/services/research-innovation-office/research-data/Pages/Data-Management-Plan.aspx  

Digital Curation Centre: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/data-management-plans

Jisc:https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/how-and-why-you-should-manage-your-research-data

UK data Service: https://www.ukdataservice.ac.uk/manage-data/lifecycle.aspx

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