Research data

This expert tour guide focuses on research data management. But what is research data?

From a general perspective, research data can be described as "the material underpinning a research assertion" (University of Sheffield, 2013). The tangible forms this 'material' may take are e.g. "facts, observations, interviews, recordings, measurements, experiments, simulations, and software; numerical, descriptive and visual; raw, cleaned up and processed” (Van Berchum & Grootveld, 2017). This definition combines type, form and research phase from the perspective that all manifestations of research data need to be actively managed to achieve high-quality data that have the potential to be reused. And this is exactly the perspective this tour guide adheres to.

The illustration below - which is based on the work of the University of Southampton (2016) - illustrates the four ways of looking at research data which are also reflected in the definition above.