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The Graduate Health & Life Sciences Research Library at Georgetown University Medical Center

Research Data Management

Best practices and tools for managing your research data.

What is Research Data Management?

Research data management involves the activities researchers do to organize, describe, preserve, and share their data. Good data management practices are integral to the entire research lifecycle.

Research data are the original sources or materials that were created or gathered in the process of your research. They may be numeric or qualitative, structured or unstructured. Among many possible forms, data may take the form of notebooks, statistical or spatial data tables, audio or visual recordings, photographs or models. 

As technology has made it easier to share digital files, and as funders (public and private) and journals increasingly require data sharing for reproducibility and transparency, data management has become an important practice for researchers to follow.

Sharing your research data allows for greater visibility and recognition of your body of work. In addition, you are working to further science by allowing others to explore your data and use it in novel ways.

Research Data Lifecycle