Research data management

On these research data management pages you find a growing collection of practical guidance, support and advice for managing research data.

What is research data?

Within the WUR data policy and research data management, research data refers to any source or information generated and collected to reproduce results and conclusions of your research. This definition results in a wide variety of these sources or information, including video, audio, processing and (statistical) analysis scripts, tabular data, text, interviews, photos / images, etc. The WUR data policy applies to research data only and not to, for example, administrative data (i.e. not research data).

What is research data management?

Research data management concerns the correct handling, storing, preservation, sharing and legal care of research data using the FAIR principles as guidance. It covers a wide array of activities within the research data life cycle including amongst others planning for data management (such as writing data management plans), organising and structuring data, documenting data, and storing/archiving/publishing data. The goal of research data management is ensuring that data is available for a long period, that data is understandable and self-descriptive (so that others could reuse it), that data follows an organised structure, and that data can be shared when possible.

Why is research data management important?

It is important that research data are well-organised and cared for during a research project to prevent data becoming unfindable, unusable or even lost. Additionally, because data often have a longer lifespan than the research project that generates them. Researchers may continue to work on data after funding has ceased, follow-up projects may analyse or add to the data, and data may be reused by other researchers. Without proper care of research data, it may become unusable or even lost to others or yourself in the future.


For PhD candidates and postdocs, the Graduate Schools offer a Research Data Management course, which is organised by WUR Library and given four times a year. This course covers various aspects of data management. Additionally, there is a research data management checklist (download) and guidance (download) for PhDs and supervisors available. Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact the Data Desk.