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Research Data Support Services for Researchers: RDM Explained

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Research Data Management Explained

For many types of research project, your research data will be the most valuable thing you produce. So it makes sense for the funder, who is paying for the research that generates the data, to ask you to handle it carefully and look after it properly – both for the duration of the project and after it ends. Moreover, any data that you produce as a Swansea University employee belongs to the University, which requires you to:

  1. Store live project data in a suitably secure, University-sanctioned location that includes backup and version control, i.e. Microsoft OneDrive or Microsoft Teams. If you are working with Security Sensitive Data then our Trusted Research Environment (TRE) is designed to provide a research computing and storage environment.
  2. Store final project data in a suitably secure, University-sanctioned location that includes backup and version control, for example your funder’s recommended open research data repository or the University’s Open Research Data Community on Zenodo.
  3. Inform the University as to where the final project data is located, giving its Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or similar URL, by creating and completing a record for your project and its data in the Research Information System (RIS). This record should include details of the primary contact on your project for research data enquiries and the date until which this applies.

Research data includes but is not limited to the following physical and digital objects:

  • Documents - for example MS Word, text files, LaTeX/BibTeX, Mark Down, etc. (including digital and physical questionnaires and interview transcripts)
  • Binary files
  • Images
  • Audio and video
  • Software (including computer code, algorithms, apps, ‘R’ scripts, etc)
  • Methods (physical and digital procedures, instructions)
  • Spreadsheets
  • Databases
  • Visualizations
  • Physical and digital Laboratory Notebooks

Swansea University’s ‘Research Integrity: A Policy Framework on Research Ethics and Governance‘ was adopted by the University Senate in September 2015. The document describes the institutional expectations regarding research ethics and governance and includes a policy on Research Data Management (p.52-54, Section J). The document states:

“The University promotes the highest standards in the management of research data and records as fundamental to both high quality research and academic integrity.” 

And that

“Researchers should keep clear and accurate records of their research. This includes procedures, protocols, approvals, sources used and results obtained, giving due consideration to the requirements of anonymity and confidentiality”

If you’re unsure where to store your live or final project data, or you need guidance about whether your project is creating research data, then please contact the Research Data Support Team:

In some cases, there may be regulatory requirements that apply to data collection and storage, so the funder will also want to be certain that you will comply with these too, please see the next section for funder specific links.

Funder Requirements
Funders have different requirements about the length of plans and what should be included so it is important that you check what they expect.