Good management of research data is vital in underpinning research excellence and integrity, enabling reuse and collaboration, and broadening the impact of our research. Cranfield University has an RDM policy (pdf) and RDM strategy (pdf) (with underpinning operational plan (internal pdf)) to set out our expectations and support in helping researchers meet funder requirements on RDM.
Detailed guidance on RDM can be found on our online RDM training module, accessible to all Cranfield staff and students. This includes RDM1 introducing the elements of RDM (including file formats, data organisation, documentation, data storage and preservation), RDM2 on writing data management plans, and RDM3 on using our repository, CORD. Alternatively, you can sign up for webinars or DRCD sessions via DATES - just search 'research data management'.
Personal support is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our Research Support Stand in the Slim Atrium, Shrivenham (the second Thursday of each month 12:00-14:00), or talk to a school contact: Dr Leigh Kirkwood (SATM) or Dr Daniel Simms (SWEE), Dr Ruth Massie (SOM)... CDS contact coming soon!
Research data management refers to the administration of data throughout a research project. As such, it encompasses a wide range of tasks throughout the data lifecycle, including data creation, processing, analysis, preservation, sharing, and re-use.
"Research data" here refers specifically to the data and records that underpin the findings of your research; the data on which your analysis is based. It may include experimental results, statistics, observations, images, models, lab notebooks, and scripts, and may be digital or in other formats.
To see more advice on the practicalities of RDM (how to organise your files and choose file formats, data security tips, how to work with personal data), you can refer to the RDM1 block of our online module. (Please note that this link will take you to the new version of the module on Canvas. The previous Moodle version is still live for now should existing users prefer to refer to it.)
CORD (Cranfield Online Research Data) is our institutional data repository, where you should store any research data that must be preserved, if there is no appropriate funder or subject repository (e.g. NERC data centres). Fundamentally, remember that data must only be added to CORD with public access if you have the right to share it.
For how-to questions, please see our information sheet on using CORD, with practical tips on getting started. Our Research Data Manager has also written a presentation on how to securely store your supporting data on CORD. Our RDM module on the VLE includes a block on CORD and is available to all staff and students. You can also read posts about best practice on CORD on our blog.
CORD isn't just for data, but can be used for publishing white papers, reports, conference outputs, and more. Everything deposited gets a DOI for long-term citeability and you get metrics for its use; you can also create collections to showcase a group of content.