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Research Data

This site is a collection of information and services for researchers using health data. This collection is curated through the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, if you have questions about the site or its content, email medicaldata@yale.edu.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Research Data?

Recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to document and support research findings. This does not mean summary statistics or tables; rather, it means the data on which summary statistics and tables are based. - NIH Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance

Types of Research Data:

  • Observational data
  • Experimental data
  • Simulation data


Research Data Stages:

  • Raw data
  • Processed data
  • Intermediate data
  • Derived data

Research Data Does Not Include:

  • Summary statistics, tables, or visualizations
  • Physical objects such as gels or lab specimens


What is Research Data Management?

The care and maintenance of data produced during research, through:

  • File and folder organization
  • Data backups
  • Applying appropriate security measures
  • Preserving the context and meaning of the data through documentation and metadata.

Speaking broadly, throughout your entire research process you should complete the following data management activities:

  1. Plan your data management efforts early, with a data management plan.
  2. Include data management costs in your application budget
  3. Use descriptive file naming conventions
  4. Store your data in multiple locations
  5. Define roles and assign responsibilities for data management within your research team  
  6. Identify and use relevant metadata standards
  7. Deposit your data into an appropriate repository

For more information about Research Data Management, see this Library Guide.

What skills do biomedical data scientists need?
  • Dunn, M. C., & Bourne, P. E. (2017). Building the biomedical data science workforce. PLoS biology, 15(7), e2003082.
  • Attwood, T. K., Blackford, S., Brazas, M. D., Davies, A., & Schneider, M. V. (2019). A global perspective on evolving bioinformatics and data science training needs. Briefings in bioinformatics, 20(2), 398–404.
  • Wickham, H. (2014). Tidy Data. Journal of Statistical Software, 59(10), 1 - 23.
Are there any electronic lab notebook options at Yale? Yes, Yale subscribes to LabArchives. View this page for more information.
Where should I share my data?Your publisher may require you to share your research data, but you may need to check your funder's requirements related to where data is shared. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) maintains a webpage that compiles federal data sharing policies here.


Visit the webpage for information about bioinformatics resources and tools, consultations, training sessions, and collaborations from the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library.


Email medicaldata@yale.edu