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Research Data Management

This guide is designed to support research data management by providing guidance on good practices and pointing to additional resources.

Subject Specialist

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Adrian Ho
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
773 702-1242

Getting Started

Defining Research Data Management

Research data management (or RDM) refers to the organization, storage, preservation, and sharing of research data created and used during a research project. It involves a researcher's everyday strategies for caring for their data (such as using consistent file naming conventions) and decisions concerning what to do with the data upon completion of a project (for example, depositing data in a disciplinary data repository for long-term access and archiving).

For a researcher, having an effective plan and approach for the management of their data is important for several reasons, including:

  • Data (especially digital data) is fragile and easily lost.
  • Good data management can save a researcher team time and resources in the long-run, making it easier to locate and understand data files.
  • There are growing research data requirements imposed by funders and publishers.
  • Good management helps to prevent errors and can increase the quality of analysis.
  • Well-managed and accessible data allows others to validate and replicate findings.
  • Data is a scholarly product and, when shared, well-managed data can lead to valuable discoveries by others outside of the original.