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Research Data Management: Welcome

Research Data Management (RDM) Library guide

Research Data Management (RDM) is the process of controlling the information generated during a research project.

All research will require some level of data management.

What Are Data?

There are as many definitions for data as there are data types, and definitions may vary across different subject areas or disciplines.

The National Endowment for the Humanities defines data as “materials generated or collected during the course of conducting research”.

Examples include:

  • citations
  • software code
  • algorithms
  • digital tools
  • documentation
  • databases
  • geospatial coordinates
  • reports
  • articles ...

Understanding Data Management

"Data management refers to the handling and workflow of research data during the active phase of a project as well as the practices that support long-term preservation, access, and use after the project has been completed. These activities can include planning, documenting data, formatting data, storing data, anonymizing data, and controlling access to data...

There are numerous reasons why data management is important. It makes it possible for other researchers to discover, interpret, and reuse data. It helps sustain the value of data by enabling others to verify and build upon published results. It facilitates long-term preservation of and access to datasets. Finally, a growing number of funding agencies, journal publishers, and research institutions require it."

Text: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The University of Edinburgh 

Image: ©Jisc and Bonner McHardy - CC BY-NC-ND

BU Position on Research Data

BU recognises the importance of research data, its value to society and BU’s research excellence and all BU research data must be managed to the highest practicable standards throughout the research data cycle.

Responsibility for managing research data lies primarily with the Principal Investigator(s) through producing and implementing a data management plan.

Externally funded researchers must meet the funder’s requirements for data management.

The BU Research Data Policy and Procedures outline roles, responsibilities and support for managing research data.

Deposit Your Data in BORDaR

BORDaR (Bournemouth Online Research Data Repository) is Bournemouth University's new research data repository solution.  The repository provides a secure and open access home for data emanating from BU’s world leading research projects.

Find out how to develop a Data Management Plan, to accurately and ethically document your data or how to deposit your data as mandated by your research funder in this Research Data Management guide or by contacting bordar@bournemouth.ac.uk.

BU Research Policies & Procedures

Contact Research Data Management Team

Research Data Management Courses & Training

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The University of Edinburgh have created an online course (available on the Coursera platform) called "Research Data Management and Sharing"

The course provides an introduction to research data management and includes:

  • data types
  • how to manage data across the research lifecycle
  • how to develop effective data management plans
  • good practice for working with data (including documentation, storage and security)
  • the importance of archiving and sharing data.

Course material is free to access online or you can pay a fee to earn a certificate.


MANTRA is a free online course for those who manage digital data as part of their research project (developed by EDINA, a centre for digital expertise and online service delivery at the University of Edinburgh).

Work through self-paced online learning units covering:

  • Research data explained
  • Data management plans
  • Organising data
  • File formats & transformation
  • Documentation, metadata, citation
  • Storage & security
  • Data protection, rights & access
  • Sharing, preservation & licensing
  • Data handling tutorials.

CESSDA (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives) and ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) 

Provides training on research data management, data curation, etc. in the social sciences with a focus on 'train the trainer' and direct to researchers, including: