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Research Data

Research data are any materials collected or created for the purposes of analysis to generate original research results, irrespective of the format. They may be digital, paper based or in other forms.

What is research data?

Research data can be defined as any digital object created during the course of research (which might include documents, still images, video and audio files, spreadsheets, software, computer code, databases or websites) in addition to physical objects such as sketchbooks, diaries, lab notebooks, portfolios, models, or other artefacts. It also includes the documentation of Practice-as-Research.

Why look after data?

The benefits of looking after your research data effectively include:

  • Improving the integrity, longevity and usefulness of your research  which includes mitigating the risk of accidental data loss or inappropriate release of sensitive data as well as making sure associated records are complete
  • Enabling data sharing and re-use, increasing the visibility, impact and integrity of research
  • Supporting future use and discovery
  • Meeting funder requirements

See "Making the case for Research Data Management" (Digital Curation Centre) for more detailed information.

Research Ethics

Middlesex has a responsibility to ensure that research conducted by its employees, researchers and students, or by others in its name is carried out in conformity with the law, and in accordance with the best current practices and principles, and follows the University’s Code of Practice for Research: Principles and Procedures (intranet login required).

The University is committed to maintaining high standards of ethics in research and the Middlesex Online Research Ethics (MORE) system is designed to support researchers at all levels to undertake research according to relevant ethical, legal and professional obligations and standards, in whatever context. It is important to remember that research data collection/analysis must not be undertaken prior to approval from your Research Ethics Committee.

  • The MORE site is for all student and staff researchers requiring research ethics review and approval. All users must use their MDX email to log-on and access the system.
  • Reviewers of research ethics applications can access the MORE Review site.

Further information is available on the research ethics intranet page (intranet login required).


We gratefully acknowledge the work of the University of Bath in the development of this guidance.

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