Research data are any materials collected or created for the purposes of analysis to generate original research results, irrespective of the format. They may be digital, paper based or in other forms.
Research data can be defined as any digital object created during the course of research (which might include documents, still images, video and audio files, spreadsheets, software, computer code, databases or websites) in addition to physical objects such as sketchbooks, diaries, lab notebooks, portfolios, models, or other artefacts. It also includes the documentation of Practice-as-Research.
The benefits of looking after your research data effectively include:
See "Making the case for Research Data Management" (Digital Curation Centre) for more detailed information.
We gratefully acknowledge the work of the University of Bath in the development of this guidance.