Skip to Main Content


This guide provides information related to Stellenbosch University's institutional research data repository.

Research Data Management Adventure Game

The Research Data Management Adventure Game is a text-based role playing interactive fiction serious game based on the data management challenges of an academic research project. The game takes the form of an online choose-your-own-adventure format in which game players take a simulated research project through the following processes: data management planning, data collection/generation, data organisation, data description and research publication; whilst encountering data management challenges along the way.

The objective of the Research Data Management Adventure Game is to demonstrate, if not actually teach, good practice in research data management. The game was designed to assist researchers to understand good practices of research data management. The specific learning outcomes are focused on the following aspects:

  1. Data management planning
  2. Designing participant information sheets and consent forms
  3. Choosing appropriate equipment for research projects
  4. Acquiring suitable third-party research data
  5. Organising research data
  6. Storing research data appropriately
  7. Analysing and documenting research data
  8. Preparing research data for archiving
  9. Publishing research data


The Research Data Management Adventure Game is aimed primarily at postgraduate students as well as early career researchers and academics. However anyone who has a vested interest in understanding how research data management works on a practical level, e.g research support staff, could find the game to be beneficial.

The game takes players through different stages of the research data lifecycle, presents them with a data management challenge and allows them to make decisions that affect the success of their research projects. Players progress either by making straightforward binary choices or by completing something more puzzle-like. In the process certain challenges test the effectiveness of the decisions made by the players. The tone of the game has been kept light hearted so as to maintain its entertainment value. Since the game simulates the entire research data management lifecycle the repercussions for the decisions which researchers make can be experienced in a safe environment – thus permitting researchers to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them without suffering the associated real-life consequences. Game players can opt to play the entire game or they may select to only play specific stages of the research data management lifecycle.

If you are interested in playing the Research Data Management Adventure Game you can click here.