Research integrity

Research data management

Research data management (RDM) is the effective and secure handling of information created in the course of research. Such information is typically the foundational evidence of published findings. Effective RDM spreads over a long lifecycle and continues well after the initial research has been published.

The definition of “data” extends beyond the information and observations that are the typical result of scientific investigation. In fact, it also includes the materials, products, procedures, and other data sources that are part of the research project, including materials submitted to and approved by the IRB, IACUC or other research oversight committees (e.g., applications, outreach/advertising materials, sample consent forms, survey routines/questionnaires), signed consent forms; and any other records or source documentation in any form necessary for reconstruction, evaluation or replication of reported or otherwise published results.

Essentially, data are considered to be anything and everything that informs the way in which individuals are able to understand, process and replicate the experimental process leading to the observations and then the conclusions.

For practical purposes, research materials that do not fit into the definition of information and observations arising from scientific research, e.g. reagents, products, etc., will be discussed separately further below.