Western Libraries

Research Data Management

An overview of research data management planning and resources available at Western Libraries.

Where Research Data Management Matters: the Data Life Cycle

Source: Humphrey, Charles. (2006). “e-Science and the life cycle of research.” Retrieved June 12 2015 from (source)


Research Data Management (RDM) is the process of organizing, describing, cleaning, enhancing and preserving data for future use by yourself or other researchers. (based on ICPSR Data Management and Curation, retrieved on June 12, 2015 from http://www.icpsr.org/icpsrweb/datamanagement)

Western Libraries has formed a team to begin to support researchers at Western with RDM.


Research Data Canada (RDC) and the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information (CASRAI) have created a collaborative tool for discussion around shared terminology in the field of Research Data Management. The *Pilot* Glossary for Research Data Management is available.

The new International Research Data Management glossary (IRiDiuM) had its working group (WG) kick-off meeting early in the 2017 New Year, on January 10. Twenty experts from eight countries (Austria, Canada, India, Malta, Netherlands, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States of America) are working on term definitions, building upon previous work done by Research Data Canada and CASRAI-CA in an online pilot glossary and 50 other references.

The IRiDiuM WG will review the 484 terms and definitions in the existing online pilot glossary. The WG will be revising a dozen or so of these, and plans to add approximately 90 new terms and definitions. The new IRiDiuM glossary is thus expected to contain approximately 577 terms and definitions.

IRiDiuM is a partnership of CASRAI, Research Data Canada, and CODATA - other national research-data partners are welcome! The new open and standard glossary is meant to be a practical trans-disciplinary reference for individuals, organizations, and working groups concerned with the improvement of research data and data management, and as a meeting place for further discussion and development of terms. The aim is to create a stable and sustainably governed glossary of community accepted terms and definitions, and to keep it relevant by maintaining it as a ‘living document’ that is updated when necessary. The IRiDiuM Glossary will be publicly available under a Creative Commons Attribution Only license (CC-BY).

Learn more: https://casrai.org/iridium

Data management plans

What is a data management plan (DMP)?

A Data Management Plan describes the data and metadata gathered through a research project.  It includes information about the data files, plans for data storage, and rules for sharing data.

Retrieved on April 7, 2015 from http://data-carl-abrc.ca/project-arc/project-arc-national-resource-for-data-management-planning/support-for-delivery-of-data-management-plans/ (site no longer exists)

Why prepare a data management plan?

Research councils providing public funds are starting to request that researchers make their data available to others. Publishers are increasingly requiring authors to make available the data that support their results published in accepted articles. Data sharing is a foundational norm in a number of research fields where scientists are expected to make their data available to other researchers. [Retrieved on June 16, 2015 from predecessor to https://www.library.ualberta.ca/research-support/data-management/give-access/]

Writing a DMP can help organize the research process and provide consistent guidelines for handling data, making the research process more efficient.  As noted by Chuck Humphrey, formerly Research Data Services Coordinator at the University of Alberta and the inaugural director of the CARL Portage Project, “On the surface, data management plans appear to be a very straightforward policy tool…  However, the purposes they fulfill and the processes they embody will enrich the production and custodial care of research data.” [Retrieved on April 7, 2015 from vanished CARL blog (above).



Why Do RDM?

Video for panda research data management

Click the image above for a video documenting one researcher's experience.


Research Data Management