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What is Research Data?

"Research data are [...] understood as digital and electronically storable data resulting from a scientific project such as the the study of source material, experiments, measurements, surveys or polls." (DFG) 

Research data can be very diverse in the respective disciplines. They include e.g. observations, experiments, simulations, programmings, references.

Research data can be available in different forms. In addition to tables, laboratory books and presentations, audio and video recordings are also included. The formats in which research data are available are also diverse (e. g. generated with EXCEL or SPSS, image formats such as JPEG or GIF, multimedia formats such as MP3 or MP4, translated JAVA or C programs, MSWord or PDF text files, proprietary binary formats of commercial software and much more).

The goal of a comprehensive research data management is the long-term usability of the data.

Further information can also be found in the Wiki