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Research data management

A library guide that addresses FAIR principles, policies and ethics, data planning, storing, and sharing data.

Data collection

What Data Are You Collecting?

Not all research data is electronic. Data can be collected in many formats. For all types of data, you will need to think about how you will preserve the data and control who can access the data - both during and after your research activity. This may affect how you collect the data. For example, you may need to get consent from research participants.

Before you start the data collection process ensure the following: 

  1. Know the policies and procedures
  2. Create a data management plan
  3. Clear ethics, privacy, and ownership issues
  4. Store and provide access to your data
  5. Retain your data


How to avoid a data management nightmare (4:46 mins) by NYU Health Sciences Library (YouTube)

Data management plans

Creating a Research Data Management Plan

You should document how you will manage your research data before you start your research.

You may need a research data plan for your research grant application or as a contractual requirement.

Other benefits of having a plan are:

  • Maintain easy access to the data for reference 
  • Increase the public profile of researchers and institutions
  • Enables future use of data by you and other researchers

RMIT has provided a Research Data Management Plan you can use as a template for your research, downloadable here or through the Researcher Portal here.


What to include in your Data Management Plan

  • A description of the research data - include the type and quantity of data, the format it is saved in, and where it is stored
  • Access arrangements, both during and after the research project
  • How data reuse/sharing will be enabled
  • Any access, reuse, or confidentiality restrictions
  • Intellectual Property ownership and copyright
  • How long the data needs to be retained for
  • Any disposal or destruction conditions


The what, why, and how of data management planning (5:30 mins) by Research Data Netherlands (YouTube)