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Research Data and DRI

At DRI, we are working to assist researchers with preserving outputs of research. Increasingly, preservation plans are part of research grants, and long-term digital preservation for research data generated by higher education institutions and research centres is an essential part of Open Access/FAIR data principles.

In these sections we will guide you through the process of preparing research data for preservation.

To go straight to our Guide to Research Data Management, click here


Why research data management matters

Research data are the foundation upon which a research inquiry is built. They can be the primary output of the research or provide evidence to determine a hypothesis. As a critical asset of the research process, good management is needed to ensure that research data are:

•             available to support the replicability and reproducibility of the research;

•             attributed to those who contributed to the creation of the data;

•             made accessible in a reusable form that will facilitate secondary usage;

•             stored securely during the active phase of the research project;

•             preserved in the long-term when the project has ended; 

•             compliant with the requirements of research funders.


The FAIR Data Principles

In 2016 the FAIR Data Principles were developed to support the position that effective research data management is ‘not a goal in itself but rather is the key conduit leading to knowledge discovery and innovation’. Central to the principles of FAIR are the planning and management of research data during the active phases of the research life-cycle to ensure long-term preservation, rich metadata and licencing that supports the findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability of research data. DRI played a part in the report (published November 2018) of the EU Commission's Expert Group on FAIR Data, of which DRI Director Natalie Harrower is a member. The report, 'Turning FAIR into Reality', provides a comprehensive overview of the principles of FAIR, as well as the elements required to implement FAIR data. 

Other publications on FAIR data include:

Force11 Community guide to FAIR principles.

G7 communique on FAIR principles. 

European Community guide for H2020 researchers.


Read our Guide to Research Data Management Plans here.