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Research data can be defined as any information that has been collected, observed, generated or created to validate original research findings.


Research data management (RDM) is the processes involved in ensuring that it is safely managed, stored, shared and preserved to act as an evidence base for findings and also so that it can be a valuable resource for future research use.

UKRI consider that "Publicly funded research data are a public good and produced in the public interest. They should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner"

  • Principles of Good RDM Practice

    These principles apply to research data generated by University of Cumbria academic staff and researchers. 

    The university supports the sharing of research data as openly as possible (subject to not harming the university’s intellectual property, and/or commercial rights including those of a third party).

    Research data is valuable and needs managing alongside your research methodology.


    1. At the beginning of your project

    • Research data management (RDM) (including costs) should be considered at the earliest practical stage of the project.
    • Construct a research data management plan using the generic University of Cumbria template or appropriate funder template


    2. During your project 

    • Use standardised file names, folders and version control when saving and storing your data
    • Ensure security and integrity of the data, compliance with confidentiality undertakings and data protection law, and respect for ownership and intellectual property rights
    • The privacy and other legitimate interests of the subjects of research data must be protected.
    • Follow the University’s Code of Practice for Research


    3. Preserving your data

    • Ongoing research: use university IT data storage facilities
    • Completed research: use funder or university approved research data repository facilities to archive your research data and, if required, to make it open access and discoverable


    4. Reusing and sharing your data

    • Think about the usability of your data and obtain any consents necessary for sharing
    • All relevant data must be associated with rich metadata which meets minimum standards set out in funders’ guidance if appropriate
    • Research data and supporting material must be sufficient to enable other researchers to understand how it was created or acquired, and, to assess its reuse potential.
    • Make people aware that you have created some data – have a communications plan
  • Research Data Management Plans (DMP)

    Not only is writing a DMP good research practice, but many research funders will also require a DMP as part of any funding application. 

    The kind of questions you may be asked to answer include:

    • What types of data will be created by the project and what is the rationale for the selection of data types?
    • What methodologies will be used for data creation?
    • How will the data be stored in the short term?
    • How the data will be stored in the long term?
    • How the data will be shared and what is the value it will have to others?
  • Data Repositories

    Research data is best preserved and published using a research data repository. A repository is an online database service that manages the long-term storage and preservation of digital resources and provides a catalogue for discovery and access.

    Some funders provide data centres to preserve and publish research data from the projects they fund. If a repository is not specified by the funder, there are many discipline based data repositories established by research communities, where data may be deposited. Some journal publishers specify repositories in which data, code and supplementary materials may be deposited.

    Data Centres and portals:

    Registries of research data repositories:

    • Re3Data provides a searchable directory of research data repositories.
    • Research Pipeline is a guide to the world's free data

    There are many discipline specific repositories available, whilst some are multi-disciplinary such as:

  • Useful Links and Support

    Useful guides and resources:

    Who can help?

    James Stephens

    Head of Library Services



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