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Research Data Management: Home


What is Research data management (RDM)?
RDM can be defined as a process which consists of two components:

  1. Planning for the manner in which research data will be managed during and after the research process; and
  2. Controlling the collection, processing, analysis, sharing, dissemination, curation and reuse of research data

This guide will assist with the processes of both these components.

Manager: Research Data Services

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Samuel Simango
Stellenbosch University Library
Private Bag X5036
South Africa
Tel: 021-808-9489

Research data management Lifecycle

Why Research Data Management is needed

  • The benefits of publicly-funded research should flow back to the public 
  • Management of research projects in a more efficient manner
  • Compliance with research funder mandate
  • Compliance with legal and ethical requirements
  • In order to facilitate the reproducibility and re-usability of research findings
  • Duplication of research efforts can be reduced – along with the associated costs
  • Validation of previously published research

Definition of Research Data

Official Definition at Stellenbosch University:

Recorded information, obtained during a research process, regardless of form or the media on which it may be recorded. The term includes computer software (computer programmes, databases and documentation thereof), and records of scientific or technical nature. The term does not include information incidental to research administration such as financial, administrative, cost or pricing, or management information. In practice research data include both intangible data (statistics, findings, conclusions) and tangible data. Tangible data include, but are not limited to notes, printouts, electronic storage, photographs, slides, negatives, films, scans, images, autoradiograms, electro-physical recordings, gels, blots, spectra, cell lines, reagents, modified organisms, specimens, consent forms, case report forms, collected organisms and other materials that are relevant to the research project.

Stellenbosch University Research Data Management Regulations

Goals of RDM

Researchers should take cognisance of the following goals of research data management: 

  1. Assurance that research data are capable of supporting analysis.
  2. Assurance that all operations performed on research data are traceable.
  3. Facilitating use of research data by people other than those involved in their original collection, generation, management and analyse.

    Zozus, M. 2017. The Data Book : Collection and Management of Research Data. Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.