The way research is conducted has changed dramatically in the last two decades. New methods and tools (software, hardware, instruments and equipment), new sources of data and the increasing connectivity of global research via the internet mean that researchers across the globe are making progress at an unprecendented pace. But with this paradigm shift comes significant challenges, most notably reproducibility of research and transparency of methods and workflows.
Meeting the challenges of 21st century research requires sound research data management. By carefully planning, documenting and preserving data, the goals of having reproducible and transparent research data are far easier to meet. Further, well-managed data are easier to use and reuse, which translates to more collaboration for researchers and maximum return-on-investment for funders. This primer will cover the basics of research data management, with the goal of helping researchers and those that support them become better data stewards.