What is research data? Some Examples
What is research data?
Data is all around us – it is the
lifeblood of any researcher and that includes historians.
By data we don’t just
mean statistics or the fact that you might have created a
database in the process of your research; although both are legitimate types
of data. What we mean is something/anything that you
produce in the process of researching any given
Those notes that you took in the lecture last week – that’s data. That transcription you made from an old manuscript or that twentieth-century communique – that’s data too. An interview recorded with a war veteran – that’s data. A photograph or map – data.
It is not easy to describe what research data is for an historian as it is so varied. It is easier to show. Therefore, as a means to demonstrate this fact the following pages contain a few case studies where postgraduate students and researchers describe the types of ‘data’ that they are working with.