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Data Management Guide: What is Data Management?

Why Data Mangement?

Funding agencies and scholarly publishers are increasingly requiring access to the research data that underlie results.

Research data have value in their own right.  They are increasingly indexed and cited as adjuncts to scholarly publications or independently. 

Providing and citing data:

  • enables easy reuse and verification
  • allows the impact of data to be tracked
  • creates a scholarly structure that recognizes and rewards data producers

Many data sets have value beyond their original research but in order to be discoverable and useful data must be managed and documented appropriately throughout the information life cycle.

Sound data management planning from the outset facilitates:

  • Research funding
  • Funding specifically targeted to research data management
  • Enhanced research impact and visibility
  • Standardized data management practice and policy in your lab
  • Increased research efficiency and outcomes
  • Collaboration opportunities
  • A greater return on investment


Data Curation: The storage of data or data sets in a digital archive (Data curation, 2013).

Data Management: see "Information Management."

Data Management Plan: A formal document that outlines what you will do with your data during and after you complete your research. (Data Management Consulting Group, ca. 2010).

Digital Curation: Digital curation is the set of policies and practices focused on maintaining and adding value to trusted digital content for use now and into the indefinite future. Curation encompasses preservation and access, and can be applied to the humanities, social sciences, and sciences (Cruise, 2012).

Information Management: The maintenance or administration of the acquisition, organization, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information. Synonymous with data maintenance and data management (Information management, 2013).



Cruise, P. (2012). "About UC3 - What is Digital Curation?" [web page]. Retrieved from

Data Management Consulting Group. (ca. 2010)."Data Management Plan" [web page]. University of VIrginia Library. Retrieved from

Data curation. In Levine-Clark, M and Carter, T. M., (Eds.). (2013). ALA glossary of library and information science, 4th ed (p.78). Retrieved from

Information management. In Levine-Clark, M and Carter, T. M., (Eds.). (2013). ALA glossary of library and information science, 4th ed (p.135). Retrieved from

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