Western Libraries

Research Data Management

What is Research Data Management?

"Research Data Management (RDM) refers to the storage, access and preservation of data produced from a given investigation. Data management practices cover the entire lifecycle of the data, from planning the investigation to conducting it, and from backing up data as it is created and used to long-term preservation of data deliverables after the research investigation has concluded."
Research Data Canada

Are you interested in learning more about how to manage your research data?

Visit our Learning Opportunities page to explore:

  • Formal courses, conferences and workshops on Research Data Management
  • Self-directed Research Data Management Training Tools.

Why is Research Data Management (RDM) Important?

This short, comedic video shows how poor research data management can result in lost data and lost time .

What does Research Data Management Include?

According to Research Data Canada, Research Data Management includes the following:

  • File naming (the proper way to name computer files)
  • Data quality control and quality assurance
  • Data access
  • Data documentation (including levels of uncertainty)
  • Metadata creation and controlled vocabularies
  • Data storage
  • Data archiving & preservation
  • Data sharing and re-use
  • Data integrity
  • Data security
  • Data privacy
  • Data rights
  • Notebook protocols (lab or field)

Funding Agency Policies

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

  • Recommends research collected with public funds be made available within two years

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

  • Grant recipients must deposit bioinformatics, atomic and molecular coordinate data into the appropriate public database upon publication of research results

Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management

  • Statement released by SSHRC, CIHR and NSERC
  • Funded research must follow a data management plan
  • Research data should be preserved in a publicly accessible, secure and curated repository

Government of Canada Guide

  • Making research results as widely available and accessible as possible is an essential part of advancing scholarship, promoting intellectual inquiry and critical analysis, and applying knowledge to ensure that practical solutions are found to challenges facing Canadians
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