Research Data Management

What is Research Data? 

Research data is “the evidence that underpins the answers to the research question, and can be used to validate findings regardless of its form” (UKRI)  

This may include: “statistics, collections of digital images, sound recordings, transcripts of interviews , survey data and field work observations, an interpretation, artwork, archives, found objects, published texts or a manuscript” 

For more information, see the University RDM Policy 

For further information on data storage through the research lifecycle, see the JISC Guidance

What is Research Data Management (RDM)?  

Research data management is concerned with the organisation, preservation and sharing of research data. UKRI identifies research data as a ‘public good produced in the public interest which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsive manner’. 

At Manchester Metropolitan research data management is a fundamental responsibility of all researchers. The effective management of your research data will ensure that it is findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR Principles) from the date of data creation as well as long into the future. 

Research data management improves research by: 

Research Data Management Policy

Please find the full policy in the 'Policies, Guidance & Links' section below. 

Data Management Plan

All research projects are required to submit the information required for a Data Management Plan via the research data storage allocation request (DMP) form. In order to satisfy this requirement, you will need to have ethical approval in place before using the form.

 A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a formal statement describing how you will manage and document the data in a research project. A complete DMP should explicitly address the capture, management, integrity, confidentiality, preservation, sharing and publication of the research data.

A DMP should be produced for every research project at Manchester Metropolitan University and principal investigators will be signposted to both the ethics and research data storage allocation request (DMP) form during mobilisation. 

In summary:

  • For new projects – RKE will point PIs in the direction of the ethics checklist and storage request (DMP) form during the project mobilisation phase
  • For current projects – the project team will be in touch in the first quarter of 2020

The benefits of having a data management plan are:  

  • Research data management will be considered and well organised from the start of the research project. 
  • Describes how data will be collected/created in a way that ensures long-term usability. 
  • Describes how data will be stored and backed up both securely and reliably, mitigating against the risk of unauthorised access and catastrophic data loss. 
  • Describes the ethical and legal requirements of managing and handling data. 
  • Describes how data will be effectively shared at the end of the project. 
  • It can act as a guideline document for collaborative project members by displaying the project’s responsibilities for research data management and any relevant data processing and handling techniques. 
  • It will help to assess if the project has the necessary resources to be carried out. 
  • They are commonly required by funders. 


Note: DMPs are living documents and therefore should be periodically reviewed and updated to ensure their effectiveness. 

Research Data Storage

What is Research Data Storage?  

Research Data Storage (RDS) is the University’s new centrally managed storage provision for research data, available for all new research projects from 13 January 2020. Having this provision enables researchers and the university to achieve the following benefits: 

  • Increased protection for PI and University: improved compliance from a structured data management lifecycle that is attractive to potential funders and protects both individual researchers and the university
  • Increased protection against data loss: secure system with data backed up through instant replication and disaster recovery options to prevent data loss.  
  • Enables informed decision making: auditable and has ability to capture historical data to help reach strategic research goals  
  • Ease of use: simple request process, available on and off-campus, automatic data back-ups through replication and 30 day version history available to enable ease of use and access for all researchers

Accessing and using Research Data Storage

For new projects after the 13th January 2020, Principal Investigators will be signposted to both the ethics and research data storage allocation request (DMP) form during project setup.

Where storage requirements are indicated in the storage request (DMP) form, once assessed, the storage space will be created, and instructions for use and support will also be sent out automatically. Very large requirements may be subject to further assessment within research centres/faculties.

All active projects will be subject to an audit and possible migration starting mid-January. This process is likely to take several months and someone from the project team will be in touch with Principal Investigators (PIs) to organise the audit. Migration will follow slightly further behind that.

Support for RDS 

The RDS system is simple to use and once set up can be accessed in the same way as the H: and R: drives, both on and off campus. If you need any support and guidance, please go to the intranet pages here

Is there best practice I should be following in relation to use of RDS? 

All of your information relating to your research project should be stored in RDS. Do not store personal docs and do not store documents to share. 


Policies, Guidance & Links



Collaboration guidelines  

From April 2019, Dropbox Business is available to all research staff at Manchester Met for sharing and collaboration on research data. This page provides support guidance about Dropbox Business. Please see the DropBox intranet page for more information

Records Management / File Management  

Information Security 

For more on information security and data protection policies please see the Information Security policy pages

Contact Us

For further information surrounding research data management, please contact the RKE Systems team at

For Staff