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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 was reviewed in 2022.  The draft 2022 release was recently open for community feedback. The new finalised edition of the Terminology will soon be available online, linked from this page.  For further information on the terminology or the review process, please contact the RDM Terminology Working Group convener: laura AT

Scope of the terminology

The goal of this terminology is to gather the key terms needed for a common understanding of the research data management domain.

Research data management (RDM) 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 those working on research data management within the context of 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.

If a consensus definition can be easily found elsewhere, the term is out of scope. This terminology is limited to the specific concepts necessary for a common understanding of RDM.

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

Browse the previous terminology

NB: This version of the terminology was available up to and including 2021. Significant changes were made in 2022 as a result of the 2021-22 review cycle and will shortly be reflected here