At Monash University we take the challenge of managing research data seriously.
- We believe managing research data is an important and valuable skill
- We are aware that increasingly funders ask that research data supporting published research findings, and any research materials with long term value, are cited and made available. This permits the verification and reproduction of those research findings maintaining the integrity of the research.
- We ask researchers to consider making research data accessible that will enable other researchers to replicate experiments efficiently and add to existing research
- This requires effective selection, documentation, management and dissemination of research data which meets reproducible needs of fellow researchers.
The information in these pages is primarily for researchers (staff, graduate research students and research collaborators from other institutions), providing comprehensive information on managing research data throughout the research process and the research data lifecycle. This will inform best practice for planning, storing and sharing and publishing research data; providing basic advice, as well as pointers to relevant contacts at Monash University and to external information sources.
Monash University is a recognised leader world-wide and in Australia for efforts to improve the management of the data generated by and used for research.
The University’s success can be attributed to a number of factors, which define the approach taken at Monash University and distinguish it from the approaches that may be taken by other institutions:
- Senior management of the University recognises the importance of research data management and has invested in this area for more than five years. Research data management has received a higher priority at Monash University than in any other Australian university.
- Research data management has been treated as a multi-faceted issue requiring a university-wide effort, collaborative approaches and a strong sense of shared responsibility.
- Research data is defined broadly and principles are articulated, as much as possible, in format-agnostic ways. Data is produced and consumed in a variety of formats, including digital, print and physical, and the institution recognises that all formats need to be managed.
- Although technology, standards and stakeholder requirements are constantly changing, Monash University has decided to be a leader and early adopter. This involves a range of ‘best practice’ and ‘best effort’ activities that aim to practically and incrementally improve how research data is managed. Being a leader involves sharing information, expertise and tools with other organisations to build national capability, not just through the lead agent role in the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), but also as an institution.
Research data management infrastructure is seen as an essential platform for twenty-first century research. The University seeks to balance the efficiencies that come from a well-managed portfolio of standardised tools with researchers’ requirements for flexible and innovative solutions that support research, and does not adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach.