Summary: Rising amounts of data and the use of digital tools make increasingly high demands on the data management during the research process. Funding agencies require information on how to handle research data or a data management plan. Publishers ask for the provision of the publications' underlying data. Research data management helps you to optimize the data management processes.
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What is research data management (RDM)?

The management of research data includes measures for the organization, preservation and documentation of the data. It aims to keep data accessible, understandable and thus reusable even after the project has ended.

RDM deals with

  • Data documentation (metadata)
  • Data organization (file formats, data exchange)
  • Data storage and archiving
  • Legal aspects (copyright, data protection, licensing)
  • Data publication (repository, data centers, persistent identifier (PID))

Which data is considered?

Digital research data is created in all disciplines in many different formats. Depending on the discipline, these may include, for example, laboratory values, measurement data, survey data, texts, videos, digital editions, bibliographies, software or presentation environments. Research data management considers all digital data that is either the basis of research, e.g., sources and measurements, work data and tools, e.g., software and bibliographies, or the result of research, that is, data underlying a publication.

Why should I invest in managing my research data?

  • Backup and archival strategies protect you against data loss and ensure long-term reuse of your data.
  • Data structure and versioning agreements ensure a smooth data exchange in your working group.
  • Identify legal issues, e.g., before the data collections process that may involve personal data.
  • Utilize technical standards and data formats to facilitate the reuse of your data.
  • Meet the requirements of professional groups, your institution, funding agencies and publishers. Note, that funding agencies and institutions promote some efforts in research data management by offering funding accordingly.
  • Data that has been the result of very time-consuming processes and expensive instruments can be re-used by others.
  • By publishing your data you will increase the impact of your research as data citation becomes more widely recognized.
  • Ensure transparency, reproducibility and quality of your research in the first place.

What does RUB offer its researchers?

The rector’s office (Rektorat) of Ruhr University Bochum has commissioned IT.Services and the University Library to evaluate and establish a sustainable infrastructure for research data management. A joint Research Data Management Working Group (AG FDM) has been set up to help RUB researchers with all data management issues and create a common infrastructure to support research data management.

The Ruhr University Bochum has adopted Guidelines for Research data management.