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Research Data Management GuideClick here to chat with a librarian

Research Data Management (RDM) is the practice of managing, organising and preserving all of the information used to produce research, from the initial planning and searching through to post-publication. Navigate through the blue tabs above to learn more. This data comprises of a range of records such as notes, spreadsheets, surveys, emails, published material and grey literature.

Data Collection

Data collection is the systematic process of gathering, analysing and interpreting of various types of information from various sources. It is important to conduct a review of existing data before commencing your research. If you are a Monash Health employee, you should first check Monash Health's PromptData Collections & Submissions. Monash Health Library offers training to enhance your knowledge and skills in Research Management as well as developing other vital research skills. 

Step 1 - Locate appropriate resources and data repositories and other open data sources that include relevant data sets that could be used as part of new research.  Some possible sources for locating relevant data are listed below.  Further information can be found in the Preservation section of this guide.


  • Australian Data Archive : (ADA) a national service for the collection and preservation of digital research data. ADA holds over 6,000 datasets from more than 1500 projects and studies and includes health studies.
  • Australian Research Data Commons : (ARDC) enables researchers to access, contribute and use quality research data.
  • Maiam Nayri Wingara - Maiam nayri Wingara Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Sovereignty Collective develops Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data sovereignty principles and also focuses on identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategic data assets. This includes development of an Australian set of Indigenous Data Governance protocols.
  • Research Data Australia : helps find, access and reuse data for research. Data is not stored at Research Data Australia but provides descriptions of and links to the data from data publishing partners.


  • Clinical Study Data Request : facilitates the sharing of patient level data from clinical study sponsors and funders.
  • DANS : Data Archiving and Networked Services to deposit research data, search for datasets and research projects and provide education on RDM.
  • Figshare :  a flexible open access repository where any file format may be uploaded and shared either privately or made public.
  • Harvard Dataverse : repository which includes medicine, health and life sciences.
  • Health and Medical Care Archive : (HMCA) preserves and disseminates data collected by health and healthcare research projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
  • Physionet : established under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PhysioNet offers free access to large collections of physiological and clinical data and related open-source software.
  • Sicas Medical Image Repository : Swiss based SICAS acquires and stores medical images and processes data for research and applications in medicine.
  • WHO Global Health Observatory Data Repository : provides access to over 1,000 indicators on priority health topics.

Other Open Data Sources and Information

  • ANDS : Australian National Data Service explains what open data is and the benefits of open data access. 
  • The Open Data Handbook : provided by the Open Knowledge Foundation discusses the legal, social and technical aspects of open data.  Also includes case studies that illustrate the value and impact of open data.  The Resource Library provides guides, presentations and videos relating to open data.
  • Check Monash Health Library's Open Access guide which provides valuable links to various open access information.

Step 2 - Systematic Searching - perform systematic literature searching to identify any previous studies that cover topics similar to the area you are about to research.  The following link provides access to Monash Health Library's guide to Literature Searching Essentials that provides clear steps to systematic literature searching.

Step 3 - Citation and Attribution - details on how to cite documents and also manage collected research articles located during systematic literature searches can be found in the link to Monash Health Library's Referencing guide.

Step 4 - Research Data Collection - There is no formal definition of what research data is but it can be in many formats including numerical, textual, digital or physical.  Research may include one or more forms of data which may or may not include those listed below.  The raw data is any form of data collected in the process of conducting research.  

  • laboratory and field notebooks
  • primary research data in machine readable form
  • databases
  • questionnaires
  • photographs
  • test responses
  • drawings
  • 3D models
  • audio-visual recordings

The importance of Research Data Management is how that data is organised and maintained during the research process and once the research is completed.

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