Scholarly Communications

Research data management

1. What is Research Data Management (RDM)?

RDM is an overarching theme covering the creation, storage, use, and preservation of research data.

2. What is Research Data?

There is not one agreed definition for research data.

Research data can be an output in its own right and datasets are allowed as one of your REF submissions. More generally, research data is usually defined as being the information which can support, validate and reproduce your published research findings. Data can include: Excel spreadsheets, software code, simulations, interviews, and images. Data doesn't have to be in digital forms. Non-digital information can also be research data. Examples could include: lab books, questionnaires, medical specimens, and rock samples.

3. How does RDM affect me?

Good RDM can help you work more efficiently, increase you research visibility, improve your citation score, and help you to comply with funder and publisher requirements.

4. What is a Data Management Plan (DMP)?

According to the Digital Curation Centre “Plans typically state what data will be created and how, and outline the plans for sharing and preservation, noting what is appropriate given the nature of the data and any restrictions that may need to be applied.”

5.What should I include in my DMP?

DMPs should include information on: existing data datasets you can re-use; information on the data you plan to create (e.g. size and format of your data). Further guidance on writing data management plans is also available on the library webpages.

6. How do I get help in writing my DMP?

Loughborough has guidance on DMPonline to help you create a DMP. In addition, you can contact for help and advice on writing your DMP.

7. How can I meet the EPSRC expectations?

You should create a metadata record in Loughborough’s data repository of all the data you create as part of an EPSRC funded project within 12 months of the data being created or generated. In addition, all data which supports published research or has a long term value should be preserved for at least 10 years after the end of your project. Data can be deposited in our data archive where it is preserved. Finally, you should include a statement in all of your published research stating where the supporting data (or research materials) can be accessed.

8. How can I archive and preserve my data?

Loughborough provides a data repository where you are able to archive and preserve your data. There are also numerous external data centres where you may be able to deposit your data. Some funders have specific data centres e.g. ESRC and NERC.

10. Where can I find a list of data repositories?

Re3data provides a comprehensive list of data centres and data repositories.

11. Where can I go for help with RDM?

You can contact Loughborough’s Research Data Manager on In addition, guidance is available within the Library webpages.