Visualizing Research Data Records for their Better Management

  • Alexander Ball UKOLN, University of Bath
  • Mansur Darlington IdMRC, University of Bath
  • Thomas Howard Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
  • Chris McMahon IdMRC, University of Bath
  • Steve Culley IdMRC, University of Bath
Keywords: digital information, research data management, visual forms of communication, information presentation


As academia in general, and research funders in particular, place ever greater importance on data as an output of research, so the value of good research data management practices becomes ever more apparent. In response to this, the Innovative Design and Manufacturing Research Centre (IdMRC) at the University of Bath, UK, with funding from the JISC, ran a project to draw up a data management planning regime. In carrying out this task, the ERIM (Engineering Research Information Management) Project devised a visual method of mapping out the data records produced in the course of research, along with the associations between them. This method, called Research Activity Information Development (RAID) Modelling, is based on the Unified Modelling Language (UML) for portability. It is offered to the wider research community as an intuitive way for researchers both to keep track of their own data and to communicate this understanding to others who may wish to validate the findings or re-use the data.