Research data is the evidence that underpins answers to research questions, and which is necessary to validate research findings. Data can come in various forms and types, characteristic to specific disciplines of research. Sharing and using research data can increase the impact, validity, reproducibility, efficiency, and transparency of scientific research.
Open data is defined as free of charge and freely available, reusable and distributable data that is not subject to any copyright, patent or other control mechanism.
At a broad level, data are items of recorded information considered collectively for reference or analysis.
Data can occur in a variety of formats that include, but are not limited to,
- survey responses
- software and code
- measurements from laboratory or field equipment (such as IR spectra or hygrothermograph charts)
- images (such as photographs, films, scans, or autoradiograms)
- audio recordings
- physical samples