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Research Data Management Guide: RDM at CDU

This guide aims to provide information and resources to support best practice in managing research data at Charles Darwin University (CDU).

Research Data Management

Responsible Research Data Management

CDU through its Colleges, the Office of Research and Innovation, the Office of Information Technology Management  and Support, and the Office of Library Services promotes a research culture and enabling environment that supports researchers and Colleges in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. In accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, appropriate management of research data and primary materials collected used or accessed in the course of undertaking research is critical to ensuring the integrity, reproducibility, validity and future use of research and research data.

Researchers must ensure relevant data and research documentation is archived, accessible and citable so that results can be verified and, where appropriate, data can be reused in future. The CDU Institutional Repository provides a platform, through CDU’s Research Information System and Research Webportal to archive, preserve and showcase the University’s intellectual outputs as well as manage appropriate storage, access and use of research data, metadata records and primary materials.

Research Data Management Planning

In order to support good research data management Charles Darwin University’s Responsible Conduct of Research Policy requires that all research projects, including those undertaken by HDR students, have a research data management plan outlining ownership, storage, access rights and future use, retention and associated required timeframes for retention, transfer and destruction of research data and primary materials, prior to the beginning, throughout the life of, and after the completion of the project. Primarily research data management is the responsibility of researchers and Colleges in ensuring appropriate long-term use, access, storage and archiving. Further responsibilities are outlined below:

CDU Researchers are also responsible for:

  • Identifying data management needs and resources and raising these with appropriate personnel
  • Maintaining records and information pertaining to access permissions, ownership, intellectual property, copyright and requirements associated with consent, privacy and use.
  • Timely lodging of intellectual outputs including publications, research data and metadata and appropriate research documentation into CDU’s Research Information System

Colleges are responsible for:

  • Ensuring their research staff are aware of and compliant with the requirements of the research data management including lodging research data management plans, meta data and data with sufficient detail to allow determination of appropriate management of and access to research data.
  • Providing support, clarification and authorisation of special data management needs and resourcing
  • Establishing a suitable College contact point for notification of registering of data management plans and managing any requirements associated with publications, research data and materials held under the auspices of the College

CDU Library and the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) are responsible for:

  • Development and maintenance of the University’s institutional repository and related software databases including provision of open and/or controlled access to metadata records and research data.
  • Supporting Colleges and Researchers to develop and register research data management plans and to manage accessibility and long-term storage requirements.
  • Provide showcasing and discoverability through the CDU Research Webportal
  • Provide guidance, support and training regarding appropriate research data management.

Information Technology Management and Support (ITMS) is responsible for:

  • Providing research data storage infrastructure, access permissions/restrictions as well as appropriately authorised special requirements, in addition to standard staff and student support.

For Assistance

If you need information or help with research data management and planning

Online resources: CDU Library provides best practice guidance and templates on research data management and planning as well as other sources of information and advice. See: Research data Management Subject Guide.

Accessing the Institutional Repository and CDU Research Web Portal: Research Staff can access the Research Information System directly with support available from ORI Research Systems and Library Staff upon request:


Workshops: The Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) and the Library hold regular workshops on responsible research requirements, research integrity and research ethics.

One-on-one support:

  • College Managers and Administration

  • Research Services Coordinator or discipline Liaison Librarian at the Library. Contact: Library Support

  • Research support personnel relevant to contractual, funding or ethical requirements. See: ORI Webpage.

  • Research infrastructure specialist at ITMS. See: ITMS Webpage

CDU Policies and Procedures:

Further Considerations regarding research data management and planning

Ownership, copyright, intellectual property (IP): In general, CDU owns intellectual property rights, including copyright, in research data originated by CDU staff, except where the data falls within the definition of a ‘scholarly work’. Have you formalised data ownership arrangements? Do you have doubts about who owns your research data?

Research ethics requirements: Ethical requirements are critical in managing access and use of the research data. Do you require ethics approval and does it cover research data? Do you have special requirements for managing data and are there requirements regarding deidentification, confidentiality and use of specific types of data or that related to specific participants, including storage and retention of Consent forms?

Data formats and size: Choosing the standards based formats can assist with long-term access and preservation of  research data. Do you have support for the research data format? Do you have special hardware/ software requirements?

Storage and backup: Have you discussed your storage and backup needs with your supervisor and/or ITMS? Are you aware of local, national and discipline based storage and backup services available for CDU academics?

Sharing data and controlling access:  Ability to share data is dependent on the copyright and IP ownership, and ethical requirements. What are your long-term research data sharing needs?

Documentation and metadata: Effective documenting and describing you research data ensures discovery and retrieval into the future. DO you know the Library can assist in helping you describe and curate the research data into the institutional repository? Do you need help in managing an inventory of your data assets?

Retention and Disposal: Data must be retained after submission of publication for a period defined by the funding or compliance protocols. Are you aware of the retention and disposal arrangement for research data and records?

Deposit in a repository or Archive: have you checked the deposit requirements of your scholarship and funding. Some agencies e.g. ARC, NHMRC, may require deposit in a repository or archive as a condition of their funding. In some cases, secure storage on University systems may satisfy the requirements.


Charles Darwin University acknowledges the traditional custodians across the lands on which we live and work, and we pay our respects to Elders both past and present.
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