Advantages of research data management
In the long term, several crucial advantages result from designing and implementing a research data management strategy:
- Visibility of Research: The visibility of your research and therefore its citation rate and reputation are improved as published data on average increases the citation count of the associated journal publication and is considered a stand-alone publication by national and international databases such as the Data Citation Index.
- Chances of Funding Success: A good research data management plan increases your chances of securing funding. Many international funding organisations expect a data management plan to be included in your application. They want to ensure that research and society will benefit from the project funding as much as possible. This means that the data obtained during the project should be available in a suitable form for others to re-use for a substantial period.
- Research Transparency: Publishers and journals also increasingly expect that the data underpinning publications are available to the scientific community to ensure transparency. In some cases, publishers, journals and data repositories collaborate to link research data with the associated research articles.
- Minimising the Risk of Losing Data: Minimising the risk of data loss by using redundant storage devices, prevents sleepless nights after a hard disk crash. Furthermore, the use of file formats that are expected to stay viable (and not become obsolete) in the future, prevents the worst-case scenario of diligently having preserved the bit stream, but still being unable to understand your own data.
- Re-Use of Data: Good research data management ensures that your data are preserved in the long term. Thus, they can continue to influence research developments long after the original research has been completed.You can also benefit from high quality data collected by other researchers that is available for you to use in your own research.
- Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice: Research data management is regarded as essential in the context of good scientific practice. Therefore, the DFG has included guidelines for handling research data in its recommendations for safeguarding good scientific practice.