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Data Management: Introduction

This guide serves as a starting point for UNR faculty, students, and staff interested in research data management.

Why Manage Data?

Good research data management can help you:

  • Comply with funder or publisher mandates 
  • Keep your data and research materials organized (saving you time and effort)
  • Guard against data loss
  • Keep private or sensitive information (e.g., protected health information) safe and secure
  • Further research in your field (others will be better able to use, replicate, or extend your findings)
  • Make the products of your research more discoverable and, therefore, cite-able 

Don't just take our word for it! Check out the video Why Do Data Management? from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries' Data Services. It outlines 5 reasons for embracing good research data management practices. Or, for a more humorous take with pandas, view the New York University Health Sciences Library's video Data Sharing and Management Snafu in 3 Short Acts.

Adapted from the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECDMC) "Module 1: Overview of Research Data Management."

What is Research Data?

Different definitions of research data abound - there is no consensus. According to the University of Edinburgh, "[r]esearch data, unlike other types of information, is collected, observed, or created, for purposes of analysis to produce original research results." The Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) defines data is "[a] reinterpretable representation of information in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing."

So what "counts" as research data? Data types and formats can vary widely by field. Here are some examples:

  • Survey responses
  • Numerical data (in spreadsheets)
  • Code
  • Biological specimens 
  • GIS data
  • Images
  • Video recordings
  • Measurements derived from lab equipment  

Data Management Help

Struggling with research data management? Check out where to get help at the University of Nevada, Reno.

University Libraries

  • Consulting help on data management plans, metadata, rights, and more
  • Where to find data
  • Where to upload your data
  • How to use GIS tools
  • Contact Teresa Schultz at or Elena Azadbakht at

Office of Information Technology

  • Connect people in earth sciences to national/global data management communities of practice
  • Potentially collaborate on larger-scale grants that have significant data management needs with resources to match
  • Work with researchers on data storage space needs
  • Contact Director of Cyber Infrastructure Scotty Strachan at

Research and Innovation

  • Help upload your data to UNR's database ScholarWorks.
  • Contact Research Data Manager Rohit Patil at

Scholarly Communications & Social Sciences Librarian

Elena Azadbakht

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Elena Azadbakht
(775) 682-5654