Glossary of terms

Data are facts, observations or experiences on which an argument, theory or test is based1

Data archive 
A data archive is a facility which moves data to a environment for long-term retention. A data archive is indexed and has search facilities, enabling data to be retrieved

Data backup
A copy of data 

Data audit
Checking institutional practices in collecting, preserving and disseminating datasets, resulting in suggestions for improving current procedures2

Data conversion 
the transformation of data from one format to another

Data curation (research data curation, digital curation)
Data curation is the activity of managing the use of data from its point of creation to ensure it is available for discovery and re-use in the future3

Data curation profile
A document with organized information about the content en context of the creation and use of a dataset4

Data format/ File format
The way in which data/information is coded and stored. A file format gives information on how to process the data. 

Data interview
The conversation a librarian has with a researcher to obtain necessary information about a dataset

Data lab
A data lab is a virtual research evironment which enables researchers to organize and share their research data and related output during their research project

Data management plan (DMP)
A written agreement stating which data will be saved, how they will be saved (file format, version control, metadata), whether data will be submitted to a repository and under which terms

Data migration 
Except for data conversion, data migration includes data validation and ongoing data quality assurance processes

Data portal/repository
A location for collecting, preserving, and disseminating datasets

Data seal of approval
A repository holding a data seal of approval complies to requirements ensuring that in the future, research data can still be processed in a high-quality and reliable manner5

Data sharing policy
An institutional policy concerning the sharing of research data. It is often written as a letter of intent declaring that research data will be submitted to dedicated repositories as soon as possible, complying to internation data and exchange formats

Digital object
An entity in which one or more content files and their corresponding metadata are united6

The digital object identifier is a stable indentifier which ensures a digital object can be permanently found on the World Wide Web, regardless of changes in the URL where the object is found. A central registry ensures that the user of a DOI will be referred to its current location.

Enhanced publication
An enhanced publication is a is a structured representation of research output in which research assets (dataset, article, underlying material) are gathered and linked

Linked data
A term used to describe a recommended best practice for exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data, information and knowlegde on the Semantic Web using RDF7

Standardised structured information explaining the purpose, origin, time references, geographic location, creator, access conditions and terms of use of a data collection. Data about data.

Persistent Identifier
A persistent identifier is a unique code which is coupled to a digital object. With this code, the object can be identified even when the object is moved to a different location8

A resolver is a system which brings about the link between a persistent identifier and the location where the object is currently situated

Doing research is an activity in which systematic and structured statements - based on gathering information and making observations - can be made about reality9

1. ANDS. (2011). What is research data. Retrieved 10-12-2011 from
2. Data Asset Framework. Retrieved 10-12-2011 from
3. Definition by
4. Witt, M., Carlson, J., Scott Brandt, D., Cragin, M.H., (2009). Constructing Data Curation Profiles. International Journal of Digital Curation. 2009, 4(3), 93-103. Retrieved 10-12-2011 from
5. See
6. California Digital Library. Retrieved 10-12-2011 from
7. See
8. DANS, Frquently Asked Questions. Retrieved 10-12-2011 from
9. Plooij, F. (2011). Onderzoek doen. Pearson Education.