RDM refers to a board spectrum of active 'lifecylce' activities with data before, during and after a research project. There are a great many reasons why RDM is important but these will differ from discipline to discipline. Cardiff Met currently has a nascent
RDM policy in place and Research and Innovation Services offer a
comprehensive guide to RDM when applying for funding from Research Councils UK.
Below you will find a useful (and short) introduction to RDM. It includes useful links to other places and resources to expand your knowledge and understanding.
*NEW* We have added a template answer for funding applications - where this needs to detail how the open sharing of research data/objects management will occur as a condition of receiving funding.
Why take notice of RDM?
Taking part in demonstrating RDM is an increasingly important part of things like funding applications but, more generally, it is about using good practice to decrease administrative burdens that come with managing data and maintain research integrity.
It provides a framework that recognises research data as a 'public good' that should be stored, discoverable and shared where possible - especially where public money has been involved in the funding of research.
Activities that encompass RDM include documenting, formatting, storing and controlling access to research data. Ideally, RDM helps produce self-describing datasets (datasets being a collection of data in things like databases) that those working in the same discipline/research groups may find useful. It also helps anyone applying for funding to easily meet research data archiving and sharing conditions.
There are many places to advise and see what RDM has enabled outside of Cardiff Met. Particularly recommended are the DCC (for guidance) and UK Data Service (an example where good RDM has enabled a useful tool) and of course L&IS within Cardiff Met.
Continue on to find out about what RDM means when creating research data.
Any research project (no matter what discipline or whether the work leads to publication in a journal) will produce significant amounts of data. RDM can help with this stage by providing a framework via what is commonly called a data management plan. These are usually very short and straightforward documents that can be as detailed as the research project needs them to be. The common purpose of DMPs is to think through the activities you may want to use the data collect in and to ensure a clear idea of administration needed/where other departments within Cardiff Met can help.
Take a look at
DMP Online for a (very) useful template structure - you will need to sign up first. If you do not wish to sign up then there are some
good public DMPs available on the site as well.
All research and academic staff and students have access to 1TB of storage via Onedrive and extra storage above this amount is
available on request. All data on Onedrive is encrypted and
backed up and is easy to share with research groups or colleagues outside of Cardiff Met.
Figshare can also be used for private and public sharing of research 'data' - staff and academic associates can create an account and this will assigned storage (that can be upgraded when needed).
Storage is fully secure and backed up daily so you can be confident in making use of
figshare at Cardiff Met.
The documenting part of RDM will aid in the discovery of the data - this essentially is metadata. Documenting could include dates of collection, intended audience, setting, research methods used etc. Documenting can also ensure your research data is attributable to you or your fellow researchers should it become 'open data'.
Library services can help with the 'metadata' that can aid in making your work discoverable - just
get in touch.
If the research has formed the basis of a publication then this can add to the overall 'openness' of the research - alongside depositing the paper itself in a place like
figshare or DSpace.
Preservation and Sharing
RDM can help you appraise and select data to preserve. Many research funders now require you to preserve the data collected during funded work to be stored and by actively managing what you have can remove the administrative barriers that can happen at the end of a project.
There are many ways that you can share research data (this is increasingly becoming a requirement of receiving any sort of research funding):
- You can deposit it in
figshare - library services can help you through the process
- You can use aggregated repositories like
Visual Arts Data Service or UK Data Archive
- and/or you can find an appropriate research data repository from
In all cases sharing research data involves you selecting an appropriate license (such as a Creative Commons License), giving you (and others) full public attribution and a permanent identifier such as a DOI.
Mark Lester (Research Librarian) and they will be happy to guide you through any of these options if you wish.
Template for Funding Applications
The template below is based on answering now common funding application questions regarding how research data/objects will be openly managed and/or shared in the course of a project.
Template - Funding.docx.
Please feel free to share, adapt and change as appropriate. If you would like further advice on this aspect of funding applications then
do please get in touch.