Research data are relevant to all phases of the research project. While in the planning phase, for example, data management plans should be developed and linked to the research project, during the ongoing research project, subject-specific standards and the storage of research data must be observed. After the research project, the research data must be secured and made accessible in an appropriate manner.
Research (primary) data are therefore divided into cycles in relation to their use. This is referred to as the data life cycle in research data management. It is subdivided in different ways, here is a graphic for illustration by the NRW State Initiative for Research Data (fdm.nrw).
On the following pages, we will roughly divide the information and services on research data management into the planning phase before a research project, the implementation phase during a project (collection, evaluation, processing) and the phase after a project. It is clear that this is a model and that the work steps are often not clearly separable.