Research Data Management
Digital & Information Services Research Support
Research & Innovation
- What is Research Data Management (RDM)
Data management impacts anybody engaged in the handling of information or data, on both a professional and personal level. Good practice ensures that these information and data are stored and backed up securely, can be located easily whenever they are required by the user and are preserved for the historical record.
Management of research data in particular is important for the dissemination of knowledge and the advancement of science and academia; this is reflected in the open access agenda advanced by the UK Government, funding councils, and institutions such as the Royal Society and the Finch Group.
Management of data of all types has become increasingly digital and this presents challenges different to those associated with traditional paper-based methods. Unlike paper-based formats data storage is not stable – technologies become obsolete and media such as CDs or DVDs become unreadable over time, rendering the data contained on them useless.
Due to the pace of technological change there is a heightened risk associated with keeping electronic as opposed to paper-based records, thus presenting requirements and challanges to manage these records effectively, to ensure they are not rendered obsolete alongside the technology that supports them.
In recent years there has been rapid growth in research data produced by Higher Education institutions across the world. The EU, the UK and Scottish government recognise the need to better manage these data in order to make the best possible use of them.
Key funders of research at the University have also acknowledged this change and are now incorporating requirements for research data management into funding criteria. Funders increasingly require underlying datasets to be made available, as primary research outputs for reuse by other researchers, in addition to the finished product or research in the form of published articles
Good data management incorporates management of data at every stage of the data lifecycle, covering data capture; storage; preservation; access; reuse; and where appropriate, disposal.
Compliance with the expectations of funders will be vital in ensuring researchers continue to secure funding for future research projects. The University will provide the necessary guidance in this process.
Making research data available to users is core to the remit of the UKRI Research Councils, supporting the development of institutional and project specific data management policies and plans in accordance with relevant standards and community best practice.
- Funders Policies
Links to funders Research Data Management policies are provided below:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
The information contained in these links is provided by the Digital Curattion Centre (DCC). A summary of UK Research Funders' data policies can be found at www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/policy-and-legal/funders-data-policies.
- Research Data Management at Aberdeen
The University‘s Research Governance Framework provides guidance for good research conduct, including the security of research data and retention of research records.
The University of Aberdeen is a subscriber to the UK Research Integrity Office, and complies with the UKRIO standards of research integrity and governance, including the security and accessibility of research data. Access the UKRIO’s requirements on data retention and storage
The University policy on research data management is available here, and complies with all current research integrity and governance standards and funders' mandates for sharing research data.
Research data management plans
Some research councils and other major funders require a data management plan as part of the funding application.
The Digital Research Team within IT Services can provide access to funder templates and advice and guidance where needed. Templates can be accessed at DMP Online. DMPs should be updated, where necessary throughout the project lifecycle.
Costs for data management, including data storage and archive, are eligible from many grant funders, including the research councils.
Institutional dataset catalogue
We are planning to use our research information system, Pure, as our dataset catalogue. Pure allows for the recording of basic metadata and the storage of data within our institutional repository. For data stored in external (subject) repositories, Pure can record metadata and link to the dataset via DOI or weblink. The datasets can be linked to research publications and grants numbers on our grants database. They can be marked visible to public and will then appear in the research portal, where they are fully discoverable.
- Guidance on how to add datasets to Pure - The dataset functionality in Pure is evolving, and the next versions of the system will add further items and workflows to the metadata.
- RDM Guidance
If you have any questions, or need advice, please contact one of the key support services for assistance.
- Bid Process
- Funder Requirements
- Research Applications and Data Management
- Data Management Planning
- File Formats & Software
- Academic Research and Data Protection
- Freedom of Information and Data Protection
- Intellectual Property
Keeping and Storing Data
- Data Security
- Backup Your Data
- Selection, Retention & Destruction
- Data Storage for Researchers
- Long Term Storage & Preservation
Finding and Sharing Data
Training and Skills Development
Internal training and development opportunities
- Essential Links