Defining research data
Research Data Management
Defining Research Data
Research data can be defined as: "the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings." (OMB Circular 110). Research data covers a broad range of types of information (examples below), and digital data can be structured and stored a variety of file formats. Note that properly managing data (and records) does not necessarily equate to sharing or publishing that data.
Some examples of research data:
Some kinds of data might not be sharable due to the nature of the records themselves, or to ethical and privacy concerns. As defined by the OMB, this refers to:
Research data also do not include:
(A) Trade secrets, commercial information, materials necessary to be held confidential by a researcher until they are published, or similar information which is protected under law; and
(B) Personnel and medical information and similar information the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, such as information that could be used to identify a particular person in a research study.
Records management should not be confused with research data management. Although they might not be addressed in a data management plan, non-research records should also be managed. See University Libraries Records Management for more details about how to manage these kinds of records:
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