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Why do we need to manage research data?

"Good data management practice allows reliable verification of results and permits new and innovative research built on existing information. This is important if the full value of public investment in research is to be realised."

Managing and Sharing Data: Best Practices for Researchers,
UK Data Archive

Benefits of managing your research data include:

  • Increasing the impact of your research; for example, making research data open and verifiable gives your research greater visibility and increases the number of potential citations.
  • Avoiding duplication of effort by enabling others to use your data; thus saving public money.
  • Making it easier to share: documenting your data throughout its lifecycle makes it easier for you to share, and others to understand and use your data in the future; thus facilitating new and unanticipated discoveries.
  • Ensuring research integrity and validation of results. Good research data management makes it more feasible to fulfil the commitments of responsible research:
    • repeatable;
    • reproducible;
    • reusable; and
    • replicable.
  • Enhancing data security and safety and minimise the risk of data loss; thus avoiding, for example, embarrassment or even legal challenges because of data protection breaches.
  • Ensuring accountability; demonstrating the responsible use of public resources to fund research.
  • Complying with University and funders' RDM policies.
  • Saving you time: doing the work now to plan for your expected data, back them up and document them in detail preserves time otherwise lost in searching for, recovering, and deciphering data in the future.

Good RDM supports and enhances your research. It involves planning and making decisions on the collection, organisation, management, storage, back-up, preservation and data sharing throughout its lifecycle.


Research Data team

University of St Andrews Library
North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9TR
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: (01334) 462343