Research data management

Research data management

Learn how to manage your research data

Plan to manage your research data

Victoria University of Wellington encourages staff and student researchers to develop plans for managing research data early in a research project. This means creating a plan for documenting, storing, securing and preserving research data to ensure efficient access and use of data throughout a research project’s lifecycle, and to enable sharing, citing and publishing of research outcomes. Research data management (RDM) plans apply to research theses, individual and collaborative research projects undertaken within the University and with external researchers and organisations.

What is research data?

Research data is collected, observed, recorded or created as part of an original research project and may include third party data (eg Statistics New Zealand datasets). Data may be:

  • in the form of facts, observations, images, computer program results, recordings, measurements or experiences on which an argument, theory, test or hypothesis, or another research output is based.
  • numerical, descriptive, visual or tactile. It may be raw, cleaned or processed, and may be held in any format or media. Provenance information about the data might also be included: how, when, where it was collected and with what. 
  • digital, textual, multimedia formats including software, survey data, experimental data, observational data, simulated data, and data derived or compiled, often from different sources
  • anything produced as part of a research project: lab notebooks, models, algorithms, specimens, questionnaires, recorded interviews, transcripts, fieldwork notes, diaries, spreadsheets, text documents, qualitative/tabular data (e.g. SPSS or SAS files), photographs, films and slides, digital objects, applications, correspondence, audio and visual recordings
  • whakapapa, whakairo (carving), raranga (weaving), waiata (songs), karakia (incantations), pūrākau (stories). 

Why do I need a plan to manage research data?

Management of research data is important to ensure that data used, created or produced in your research is organised so it is securely stored and accessible by other researchers you may collaborate with. Some international research funding agencies and publishers require the use of Research Data Management Plans.

The FAIR data principles - Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable - developed and adopted by the FORCE 11 group are useful to guide thinking and planning around the management of research data.

A Research Data Management Plan documents:

  • types of data to be created and how 
  • metadata to describe the data
  • plans for storage
  • legal and ethical considerations
  • plans for publishing, sharing and preservation of data
  • roles and responsibilities for all aspects of data management.

Developing a plan requires you to consider and make decisions about these issues before beginning a research project.

Benefits of a research data management plan include:

  • security of data and your research through reducing the risk of loss
  • efficiency of research by managing versions and enabling discovery of your data
  • enabling you to share data securely with collaborators and other interested researchers
  • compliance with university, funder and publisher requirements
  • avoiding ethical or cultural transgressions.

When do I create an RDM plan?

  • It is recommended that staff and student researchers create a Research Data Management Plan at the beginning of all research project and theses. Begin by reviewing this guide to determine aspects relevant to your research and explore further
  • If your research is already underway you can review these guidelines at any time to consider how your research process and outcomes can benefit.

Your RDM planning tool

When you begin your research project, you can use the Victoria University of Wellington Research Data Management Plan (DMP) checklist below to start your RDM plan. Save the plan and share it with your supervisor or collaborators as appropriate. The plan will be a living document you can add to and update as your research progresses.

What support is available to create a plan?


Resources at Victoria University of Wellington include​:

  • individual and group RDM consultations
  • RDM training sessions

Other relevant resources include many used in the development of these guidelines:

Who can I contact for assistance and information?

Library - Academic Research Support

Research Office -

Research Development Advisors

Human Ethics -

Research Services (Digital Services)

Centre for Academic Development - Digital Learning and Research

Copyright -




Faculty Strategic Research Fund and other internal grant applications

Internal grant applications, require researchers to provide details of how data produced during and resulting from proposed projects will be managed. Key considerations and possible statements are provided in the sections below, with links to further information in this guide. Should you wish, you may copy details that are relevant to your research project into your application.

You can also download the Victoria University of Wellington Research Data Management Plan (DMP) Checklist below and enter your plan details. You can update and add to the plan as a living document throughout your research.

Library staff are available to help you with this. Please contact Research Services to arrange an individual consultation.