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Research Data Management: Welcome

Why manage your research data?

Research data management (RDM) is the way you structure, store, and share the data produced throughout your research project. Aston defines research data as:

factual records, which may take the form of numbers, symbols, text, images or sounds, used as primary sources for research, and that are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings.  Data may comprise primary raw data or secondary analysed data. (Open Research Data Policy, 2019)

Aston requires research data to be open where there is a funder mandate, and where there is no mandate encourages data to be made open if no legal, commercial sensitivity or ethical barriers are encountered.

Contact Research Data services

For help and advice on data management, making your research data open, or Aston Data Explorer (our data repository), please contact Research Data services at

Jisc's research data lifecycle

This guide draws together advice for research data management following Jisc's model for the research data lifecycle, which comprises the following stages:

  • Plan and design
  • Collect and capture
  • Collaborate and analyse
  • Manage, store, and preserve
  • Share and publish
  • Discover, reuse, and cite

Full guidance from Jisc is available through their RDM for Researchers Toolkit.

Jisc's cyclical model of the research data lifecyce

Research data lifecycle infographic produced by Jisc, available under CC-BY-ND

Research data management timeline

A quick guide on what to expect

1. Create a data management plan before starting your research using DMPOnline

2. Organise and annotate your data to make sure it is easy to find, access, and interpret your research

3. Store your data in accordance with Aston's policies using Box

4. If you have not created your data in non-proprietary or commonly used formats, convert your data into formats appropriate for sharing or long-term storage

5. Upload your dataset (as a minimum, the underpinning data: the numerical values behind the figures/graphs/tables in your publication) and apply embargos if required

6. Library services mint a DOI for your dataset; add DOI as part of Data Access Statement in your publication

7. Submit Publication! See Open Access LibGuide on what to do next

Aston Data Explorer

Visit Aston Data Explorer, our data repository, to upload your research data or submit research metadata, to download datasets, and to view download statistics. Aston university users should log in using their standard university credentials. For governance and deposit policies, please contact