The research lifecycle is the process that a researcher takes to complete a project or study from its inception to its completion. Research data management is involved in each step of the research process:
- Provision of good practice advocacy in the creation of a research methodology;
- The production of data management plans and associated training;
- appropriate generation or collection of primary data in research workflows;
- Appropriate documentation of analysis techniques used to interpret data;
- Promotion of structured data curation and deposit in an institutional data repository or file-store through to the development of institutional policy;
- The writing and publication of an article in an appropriate journal; and
- Focusing on data publication and reuse, with the goal of assigning credit and attribution to those involved.
Graduate students have a similar research lifecycle during the course of their degree with the addition of course work at the beginning of their degree. Librarians can use the research lifecycle to outline services in data sharing or data management planning for their specific patron-base. The lifecycle is a helpful indicator of the processes that a researcher takes when carrying out a study.