RDIM Terminology


This section provides an alphabetical listing of some of the terminology used in managing research data and information along with the meaning and/or application of these terms.

Click on the letter to see the definitions starting with that letter.



Refer to Data Repositories.

Research (Data and Information) Asset

A research asset is any research data and/or research information that supports the integrity of the research output (e.g. thesis, publication, etc.) and includes their supporting documents.

Research (Data and Information) Asset Lifecycle

The Research (Data and Information) Asset Lifecycle describes the steps involved in managing research data and information. The lifecycle is embedded into the three phases of a research project including pre, during and post project.

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
Research Data JCU Platform

Research Data JCU is an integrated data management platform which supports all stages of the Research (Data and Information) Asset Lifecycle.

The three main components of the platform include the:

  • Research Data Management Plan (RDMP)
  • Data Record(s)
  • Data Publication(s).

This platform helps to maximise the efficiency and integrity of research, increases research visibility and impact, assists with meeting compliance requirements for funders, publishers, the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and the JCU Code.

Research Data JCU Roles and Read/Write Permissions
Research Data JCU - Roles and their access permissions
Lead Investigator

Researcher who takes the lead role in the conduct of the research project.
HDR candidates are Lead Investigators on their thesis projects.
Other Data Creators

Other JCU data creators associated with the research data.
Data Manager

Person responsible for managing the research data produced by the project, e.g. Advisor (for HDR Candidates) or Lead Investigator (for JCU staff)
Record Administrator

This field is auto-filled using the login details of the JCU staff member or HDR Candidate creating the record. Staff who have not contributed to the data (e.g. research administrators or assistants) may create records on behalf of researchers and will retain read/write access unless they re-assign this role.
If you are not an active researcher (not included in the lookup) you must include your JCU email address in this field to retain access.
JCU Collaborators

JCU collaborators associated with the research project/data.
External collaborators may be entered as free text (not in lookup) but they do not have access. External collaborators include people or organisations outside JCU that contribute to the project/data.

JCU staff supervising HDR candidate. They are responsible for general oversight of an academic research project.
Research Data Management Plan (RDMP)

A Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) is:

  • Documented in Research Data JCU.
  • A non-public metadata record that describes:
    • what data will be created;
    • what policies apply to the data;
    • who will own and have access to the data;
    • what data management practices will be used;
    • what facilities and equipment will be required; and
    • who will be responsible for each of these activities.
  • A living document that is added to and refined throughout the research project.

Completing a RDMP:

  • Establishes a link between the research project and the research data and information.
  • Is increasingly becoming a requirement of research funding.
  • Mitigates the risks of data loss, and unauthorised use of your data and information, by addressing storage and ethical/legal issues.
  • Supports best-practice in research.
  • Makes it easier to store and publish data in future.
  • Satisfies requirements under the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
Research Information

Research information is research data that:

  • Has been organised and exposes relationships – i.e., authorship is applied to the data;
  • Has been processed in a way that makes it easier to measure, visualise and analyse for a specific purpose; and
  • Is sometimes referred to as derived data or primary material.
Research Project

A research project is a scientific endeavour to answer a research question. A research project must have research output(s).

Restricted Access
Retention Rules for Specific Data Types
Research Data TypeDescription Retention Rules
Clinical Trials Research data created in the conduct of clinical trials Retain for 15 years after completion of clinical research/trial AND 10 years after last patient service provision or medico-legal action.
Other (does not result in patent) Research data created in the conduct of research which does not fit into the other categories, which does not result in a patent. Retain for 5 years after last action e.g., end of the year of publication of the last refereed publication
Other (results in patent) Research data created in the conduct of research which does not fit into the other categories, which results in a patent. Retain for 7 years after expiry of patent (i.e., a minimum of 27 years)

Research data created in the conduct of a research project, including clinical trials, which is of high public interest or significance to the discipline such that it has or will change a commonly held view or approach irrespective of the field in which the research is conducted.

Factors which may determine significance include projects which:

  • are controversial
  • are the subject of extensive debate
  • arouse widespread scientific or other interest
  • have the potential to cause major adverse impacts on the environment, society or human health
  • involve eminent researchers
  • involve the use of major new or innovative techniques.

Retain significant data permanently

Also consider whether the data:

  • would be costly or impossible to reproduce
  • has community, cultural or historical value
  • has significant re-use potential

Note: With rare exceptions, datasets published via Research Data JCU will be assigned a DOI. Your data is a citable part of the ‘scholarly record’ and the intention is to retain this research data for as long as feasible, regardless of the recommended retention period.