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Research Data Services

This guide describes the services offered by the Ruth Lilly Medical Library for the management, sharing, and preservation of research data at the IU School of Medicine.

Working definitions for this guide

Copyright: the aspect of Intellectual property that gives creators the right to permit (or not permit) what happens to their creations, as opposed to trademark rights or moral rights. (Right to Research - Open Research Glossary)

Data: facts and statistics collected for reference or analysis

  • Research data: recorded factual material commonly retained by and accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings. (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • Big data: high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation. (NNLM Data Thesaurus)
  • Administrative data: information collected primarily for administrative (not research) purposes. This type of data is collected by government departments and other organisations for the purposes of registration, transaction and record keeping, usually during the delivery of a service.

Data dictionary: resource that defines and describes data so that it can be easily understood by anyone who would like to use it or analyze it at a later date. It provides information about specific data such as meaning, relationships to other data, origin, usage, and format

Data management: the processes and activities involved in handling data generated or gathered as part of a research project

Data reuse: a concept that involves using research data for a research activity or purpose other than that for which it was originally intended

Data science: an interdisciplinary field about scientific methods, processes, and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms, either structured or unstructured (Wikipedia)

Data set: a collection of individual pieces of data; collection of qualitative or quantitative variables

Encryption: conversion of information into an unreadable format order to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access

File format: standardized way of encoding information for storage in a computer file; exist in variety – for documents, images, etc.

Institutional repository: an online database designed to collect the intellectual output of a particular institution or university, including digital collections such as electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), pre-prints, or faculty scholarship, and presents associated metadata regarding these items. (Right to Research - Open Research Glossary)

Intellectual property: a legal term that refers to creations of the mind. Examples of intellectual property include music, literature, and other artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and phrases, symbols, and designs. (Right to Research - Open Research Glossary)

Metadata: structured information about an information resource that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage that resource

Naming convention: agreed upon scheme for naming things such as files, documents, etc.

Open access: peer reviewed scholarly manuscripts that are freely available via the Internet, permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any lawful purpose, without financial, legal or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited. May also refer to theses, books, book chapters, monographs and other content. (Budapest Open Access Initiative)

Open science: the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods. (FOSTER portal)

ReadMe: contains information about other files in a file system/collection – the ‘file about files’

Workflow: a sequence of steps, processes whereby a project and/or piece of work passes from initiation to completion