RDIM Terminology Research Data

Research Data

Research data is any data that has been collected, generated or created (no authorship) during a research project. It may be raw, cleaned, or processed (via machine) and may be held in any format or media. It may also be referred to as primary material.

Providing an authoritative definition of data is challenging. It can come in different forms and formats including physical or digital, experimental or observational, qualitative or quantitative, raw or processed.

The following table contains some examples of types of data:

Types of dataExampleImportance
Observational dataPresence/absence, sensor readingsUsually irreplaceable
Physical dataRock samples, blood samples, plants, interview transcripts, diariesUsually irreplaceable
Experimental dataGene sequences, chromatogramsReproducible, but expensive
Simulation dataClimate models (model and its inputs are the most important thing here) 
Derived/Compiled data/informationCompiled databasesReproducible, but expensive