What is research data?

Research data are data "used as primary sources to support technical or scientific enquiry, research, scholarship, or artistic activity, and that are used as evidence in the research process and/or are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings and results.”

Research data. (n.d.) In CASRAI Dictionary.

Examples of research data

  • Text or Word documents, spreadsheets
  • Laboratory notebooks, field notebooks, diaries
  • Questionnaires, transcripts, codebooks
  • Test responses
  • Slides, artifacts, specimens, samples
  • Audiotapes, videotapes
  • Photographs, films
  • Curated thematic digital objects such as scholarly editions, text corpora, and thematic research collections
  • Database contents including video, audio, text, images
  • Models, algorithms, scripts
  • Contents of an application such as input, output, log files for analysis software, simulation software, schemas
  • Methodologies and workflows
  • Standard operating procedures and protocols

Further reading

Boston University Libraries. Research Data Management: What is “research data”?

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