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Research Data

What is research data?

Research data is any recorded, retrievable information necessary for the reconstruction and evaluation of reported results created in connection with the design, conduct or reporting of research and the events and processes leading to those results, regardless of the form or the media on which they may be recorded. Research data include both intangible data (statistics, finding, conclusions, etc.) and tangible data (notebooks, printouts, etc.), but not tangible research property.

The United States Code of Federal Regulations offers a definition researchers with federal funding should keep in mind. According to the Code of Federal Regulations, research data is, "... defined as the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings, but not any of the following: Preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues."

You might also want to consider the following as relevant research data:

  • Lab and field notebooks

  • Audio interviews and transcripts

  • Code books

  • Spreadsheets

  • Documents (text, pdf, Word)

  • Photographs (digital or analog)

  • Scripts and algorithms

  • Workflow and methodology

  • Database and database content

  • Protein or gene sequences