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Research Data Management

What is research data?

Research data is:

  • Digital objects: such as text files, image files, sound files
  • Databases : structured collection of records or data stored in a computer system

The Office of Research Integrity defines research data as:

  • Any information or observations that are associated with a particular project, including experimental specimens, technologies, and products related to the inquiry.

Why manage your research data?

NIH Sharing Policy for NIH-Funded Research Resources states that "the results and accomplishments of the activities that it funds should be made available to the public.  PIs and funding recipient institutions are expected to make the results and accomplishments of their activities available to the research community and to the public at large."

NSF Data Sharing Policy states that "investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants."

AHRQ's new public access policy states that "digitally formatted scientific data resulting from unclassified research supported wholly or in part by Federal funding should be stored and publicly accessible to search, retrieve, and analyze."
In addition all AHRQ-funded researchers will be "required to include a data management plan for sharing final research data in digital format, or state why data sharing is not possible."

Many journals require data be made available to readers.

Data Management & Sharing SNAFU (a video in 3 short acts)

This short video, created by the librarians at NYU's Ehrman Health Sciences Library, tells a data management cautionary tale of what should not happen when a researcher makes a data sharing request.