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Research Data Management Terminology

The research data management terminology formerly stewarded by CASRAI is now managed by CODATA.  The terminology is reviewed via a lightweight and pragmatic process on an annual basis, drawing on the expertise of a voluntary expert Working Group. The version of the terminology presented here is currently undergoing review and will be finalised later in 2022.  For further information on the terminology or the review process, please contact the RDM Terminology Working Group convener: laura AT codata.org.

Scope of the terminology

The goal of this terminology is to gather all the key terms needed for collaborators to share a common understanding of the research data management domain. ‘Research data management’ refers to the storage, access and preservation of data created or collected in the course of research. Research data management practices cover the entire lifecycle of the data, from planning the investigation to conducting it, and from backing up data as it is created and used to long term preservation of data deliverables after the research investigation has concluded.

Definitions are intended to be clear and unambiguous, and where possible, fit with common usage. Definitions should be apposite across research data management activities of key stakeholders, including but not limited to those working on research data management in research, data management, digital curation and preservation, research management, research policy, open data advocacy, computer science, information management, research administration, library, scholarly publishing, digital archiving and research funding roles. Some terms may have more than one definition, in which case the relevant context should be specified.

This scope statement has been revised and approved by the 2021-22 RDM Terminology WG.

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NB: This version of the terminology is correct as of early 2021. Significant changes will be made in 2022 as a result of the 2021-22 review cycle.