Data management involves the organization and maintenance of data during the active stages of a project, and suitable archiving of the data at the project’s completion.

What are research data?

Research data are data that are used as primary sources to support technical or scientific enquiry, research, scholarship, or creative practice, and that are used as evidence in the research process and/or are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings and results.

How are research materials related to research data?

Research materials serve as the object of an investigation, whether scientific, scholarly, literary or artistic, and are used to create research data. Research materials are transformed into data through method or practice.

Why should I manage my research data?

When properly managed and responsibly shared, research data enable researchers to ask new questions, pursue novel research programs, test alternative hypotheses, deploy innovative methodologies and collaborate across geographic and disciplinary boundaries. The ability to store, access, reuse and build upon digital research data has become critical to the advancement of science and scholarship, supports innovative solutions to economic and social challenges, and holds tremendous potential for Canada's productivity, competitiveness and quality of life.

Source: Frequently Asked Questions - Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy

Some reasons why managing your research data is important:

  • Compliance with policies: Some funding bodies have introduce requirements for the effective management of research data. The Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy supports the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) guiding principles for research data management and stewardship.

  • Ensure your data is accessible and shareable: On the subject of compliance, increasingly more journal publishers require that data underlying the findings described in a manuscript be made fully available without restriction at the time of publication. This usually means that the data are deposited in a data repository. This requirement applies to both commercially and publicly-funded research. To determine whether data can be shared and reused, and if so, how and by whom, consult the Copyright and Research Data at uOttawa - FAQ (PDF, 201 KB).

  • Keep your research safe and secure: You can reduce the risk of data loss by keeping your research data safe and secure. The Safeguarding your Research portal provide more information on practical steps to safeguard your research, on conducting risk assessment and on best practices for traveling internationally.

Further reading

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