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Research Data: Finding research data

How to find research data

What is research data?

Research data is information that has been collected or created to validate research findings. It can be numerical, descriptive or visual and raw or analysed.

Some examples of research data are laboratory notebooks, data files, questionnaires and interview transcripts, photographs and slides.

Research data repositories

Research data repositories store and manage research data.The simplest way to find a respository is to use a directory/registry service.

Government sources

Health data

  •  ISD Scotland - Scottish health service data. Information Services Division (ISD) is a division of NHS National Services Scotland.

Image data

  • Image Data Resource (IDR) -  contains multidimensional life sciences image data and 'seeks to store, integrate and serve image datasets from published scientific studies.' 

General search engines

Why use research data?

  • You can save time and effort by reusing data
  • You can reuse data in new ways to carry out further research

Remember to check the licence terms before you reuse data and always cite your source.


You can filter database search results to show datasets.

For example, Web of Science Core Collection has links from search results to articles with data sets. Choose to Filter your search results by Associated Data.

Research Data at Strathclyde

Citing Data Sets

  • Ball, A. & Duke, M. (2015). ‘How to Cite Datasets and Link to Publications’. DCC How-to Guides. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre. Available online:
  • EndNote, reference management software,  has a datasets reference type.
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