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 evidence used to inform or support research conclusions (University of Sheffield n.d.). 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.