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Research Data Management Toolkit: Introduction

This guide provides information about research data management and the Tropical Data Hub (TDH) Research Data repository

Research Data Management Lifecycle

The Research Data Management Lifecycle

Data management extends over the whole data lifecycle from data collection or creation through to storage/archiving and may continue long after the research project is completed as data is shared, re-used and cited.

The Toolkit provides information and advice about these data management activities. You might be surprised to see how many activities you already include in your research practice!

data lifecycle

Adapted from: The University of California, Santa Cruz (2018) Data Management LibGuide, Research Data Management Lifecycle diagram. Retrieved from:

FAQ: What is Research Data?

As the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) guide "What is research data?" suggests, providing an authoritative definition is challenging. Data may be physical or digital, experimental or observational, qualitative or quantitative, raw or processed - and in any format or media. The guide explores a number of approaches, for example:

It may be useful to consider what needs to be kept for the validation and reproduction of research findings rather than focusing on the intrinsic properties of the data. This can also inform data management activities such as file formatting and documentation as these impact on the future value and use of the data.    

The Retention and Preservation section of the Toolkit provides more information about the types of data that should be archived.

Introduction to the Toolkit

Use the Toolkit to learn how to:

  • maximize the efficiency and integrity of your research
  • increase your visibility and impact
  • comply with requirements from funders, publishers and others
  • find and re-use datasets for your own research

If you can't find what you need in the Toolkit please email for assistance.

Toolkit Contents

Introduction: The Research Data Management Lifecycle
     Why Manage and Share Your Research Data?
     Funders and FAIR Data
     The Legal and Ethical Framework *
Start with a Plan
Organize Data: File Directories, File Names and Version Control
     Data Wrangling
Store and Archive Data: Data Storage Solutions
      Retention and Preservation
      Durable File Formats
      Documentation and Metadata
Find and Re-Use Data: Publication and Repositories ^
     DOIs and Data Citation
     Data Visualization
Share Data Safely: Sharing Sensitive Data
     The Legal and Ethical Framework *
     Copyright and Licensing
     Publication and Data Repositories ^
Tropical Data Hub
Help and Training

*^ These pages are the same


This guide draws on content developed by the eResearch Centre at JCU, the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and other university libraries who have shared their work via the LibGuides community. Their work is gratefully acknowledged.

Data Management Snafu

A short (4:40 min) video by Karen Hanson, Alisa Surkis and Karen Yacobucci at NYU Health Sciences Library. See what can go (terribly) wrong when a researcher hasn't managed their data!

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