Research Data Network

A community lead initiative intended to be a resource for all those interested in Research Data, its management, use and reuse.

RDM - Research Data Management

The proactive management of the outputs of research so as to make those outputs visible, available, secure, shareable and useful.

Shared Data

Data available for use with appropriate safeguards in place to prevent misuse,.

Open data

Data that is freely available and usable without restriction.

LOD - Linked Open Data

A subset of Open data that can be automatically accessed and processed using standard protocols.

PID - Personally Identifiable Data

Data that can be linked directly or indirectly to individuals.


Data descriptive of other data. Structural metadata describes the data's container, whereas descriptive metadata concerns the content.

Data Management

Describes the handling and care of (research) data throughout its life-cycle.

Data Management Plan (DMP)

Documents (either formal or informal) concerning the data management process.

Data Archiving / Deposit

The process of storing data for long-term access or re-purposing usually in a location separate from its original environment.

Data Re-use / Re-purposing

Utilising existing data in a novel purpose, either by its creators or other parties. May imply an abstraction from the original purpose.

Data Sharing Plan (DSP)

Defines the processes and technologies employed to support sharing data with other parties.

Digital Object

Digital entity comprised of data and its associated metadata. Many research data objects are assigned DOIs.

Digital Object Identifier

Persistent identifier of a digital object to facilitate finding and citing it. DOIs resolve to the item itself or a record for it. For example: DOI XX.XXXX

Digital Preservation

Process of actively safely storing the actual bits and bytes digital objects are made up of. Recurring integrity checks are necessary to sustain long-term access to files and prevent data-decay.

Digital curation

Digital curation involves selection and appraisal by creators and archivists; evolving provision of intellectual access; redundant storage; data transformations; and, for some materials, a commitment to long-term preservation. [Source: Lee & Tibbo, 2007, Digital Curation and Trusted Repositories: Steps Toward Success]

Information governance

How organizations manage the way information and data are handled, including collection, use, access and decommissioning as well as requirements and standards.

Data lifecycle

All the stages in the existence of digital information from creation to destruction.

Data hygiene

The collective processes conducted to ensure the cleanliness of data. An important aspect of data preservation efforts. Clean data is considered to be error free.

Data governance

The overall management of the availability, usability, integrity, and security of data. A sound data governance program includes a governing body or council, a defined set of procedures, and a plan to execute those procedures.

(Meta)Data harmonization

Process of making (meta)data from different sources comparable.

Data compliance

Data compliance consists of the ongoing processes to ensure adherence of data to both enterprise business rules (government department, university, industry, or agency), and to legal, regulatory and accreditation requirements. Data compliance includes five areas: controls, audit, legal compliance, regulatory compliance, and accreditation conformance. [Source:]