Research Data Management: Overview

Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) definition

ARDC has intentionally left the definition of research data open to be as inclusive as possible. Research Data Australia accepts records of data that are considered to be important to the Australian research community, rather than to an established definition of what constitutes research data.

Generally speaking, however, ARDC does not encourage information concerning journal articles and monographs. This is because they are generally well-described elsewhere and available either through commercial publishers or open access. ARDC is, however, keenly interested in these as ‘related information’ for research data.

The ARDC business plan says, ‘Research publications are not included within the scope of ANDS but files, images, tables, databases, models, computer outputs, and similar digital representations are included’.



Why do you need to manage your data?

The carrot:

  • Improvements to efficiency - managing data at the last minute and using the first method that comes to mind is usually time-consuming and error-prone.
  • Protection - loss of data can be a disaster.
  • Quality - data that is carefully managed has a much greater likelihood of being quality data.
  • Exposure - data is now recognised as a scholarly output and good data management maximises the impact of your work, increasing the visibility of your research and extending its relevance; data citation standards are at a critical stage with the general acceptance of the use of DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers).

The stick:

  • Basic data management is required by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and compliance with the Code is already a requirement for ARC and NHMRC funding and is likely to be mandated by other funding bodies, government and institutions in the near future.

NHMRC & ARC now require data to be shared

NHMRC acknowledges the importance of making data publicly accessible.

NHMRC encourages data sharing and providing access to data and other research outputs (metadata, analysis code, study protocols, study materials and other collected data) arising from NHMRC supported research.

The NHMRC have aligned their approach with Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (ACRCR) which states that: “Research data should be made available for use by the other researchers unless this is prevented by ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters.”

For more information on NHMRC data sharing requirements.

The ARC has followed suit by encouraging researchers conducting ARC funded research to follow the ACRCR stipulations.


Thanks to Heather Jenkins at ANU for creating a guide on Data Management and sharing its contents as a basis for this guide.


     This content is licensed to Victoria University under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Acknowledgement of Country

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Ancestors, Elders and families of the Kulin Nation (Melbourne campuses), the Eora Nation (Sydney campus) and the Yulara/Yugarapul and Turrbal Nation (Brisbane campus) who are the traditional owners of University land. As we share our own knowledge practices within the University, may we pay respect to the deep knowledge embedded within the Aboriginal community and recognise their ownership of Country.

We acknowledge that the land on which we meet, learn, and share knowledge is a place of age-old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal, and that the Traditional Owners living culture and practices have a unique role in the life of this region. Learn more from our Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit.