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Describe research data

Describing your research data helps others to discover your work. This makes your research more transparent and supports research integrity.

The metadata which describes your research data will be harvested by Research Data Australia, Google Scholar and other search engines through Deakin Research Online (DRO). This helps expose your research to opportunities for further research to build on your results.

Deakin University has a curatorial responsibility to the research data that you create over the course of your research. This research is defined in the Research Conduct Policy as:

Including, but not limited to, physical samples, photographs, written or audio-visual recordings, artwork, questionnaires or other instruments, fieldwork notes, and other items which are the sources of data or themselves constitute data in a research project.

Describing my data

Describing your research data in the University's data store makes it more discoverable. Deakin Research Data Footprints is the online submission tool that will guide you step-by-step through the process.

Data in any format may be described in the data store. If it requires special software to use, this should be described in the record. To both share and discover datasets, good labelling of information is critical. Consider collecting all information that will be useful for discovery of your data early in your project.

Your obligations

When describing and making your research data accessible, you are fulfilling your obligations for the following requirements:

  • Deakin University's Research Conduct Policy (clause 14-16)
  • the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research (The Code), (clause 2.5.2) states that research data should be made available for use by other researchers unless this is prevented by ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters
  • The Code (clause 2.6.5) also requires you to maintain a catalogue of research data in an accessible form
  • the ARC discovery grants funding rules, 2013 & 2014 (clause 13.3.2) states that the Final Report must outline how data arising from the Project has been made publicly accessible where appropriate
  • the NHMRC notes that if a researcher is not intending to deposit the data from a project in a repository within a six month period, s/he should include the reasons in the project's Final Report.

Benefits

Creating a descriptive record of a research data enables:

  • sharing of your data, helping to raise your research profile
  • increased impact and recognition of your work
  • increased citation of your data, acknowledging your contribution
  • the creation of new opportunities for collaboration and exchange
  • future research to build on your data
  • transparency and supports research integrity
  • better management of research data
  • recording of data collected at a specific point of time that cannot be repeated
  • Deakin research datasets to be harvested by Research Data Australia (RDA)
  • validation of your findings by others
  • support for the responsible communication of research results
  • reuse by researchers in other fields for different purposes
  • discovery into the future by others.
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