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Research data management: Data description

Research data management covers the planning, collecting, organising, managing, storage, security, backing up, preserving, and sharing your data.

Describing your research data

Describing your research data and associated data documentation provides context for your data, tracks its provenance, and makes it easier to find and use in the long term, or for others to discover on the internet.

Describing and documenting your research data ensures it can be:

  • found, or discovered
  • by the right people
  • preserved
  • re-used
  • accessed in the long term

Adding data or metadata to UQ eSpace

Entering data or metadata to UQ eSpace Research Data Collections

  • Simply login to UQeSpace
  • Go to MY UQ ESPACE
  • Select the tab Add Missing Data Collections     UQ eSpace tabs - my research data and add missing data collections
  • Please note that many  fields are optional and only need to be completed where appropriate
  • For UQ Researchers, a Guidance document for entering data to eSpace is available when you log in.

For further assistance with adding your research data to eSpace, email

Where can I describe my data?

UQ Library offers a service to support the description of your research data, ensuring you are compliant with various policies and making your research visible to the wider community. You can add a description of your research data directly into UQ eSpace using our Research Data Collection form.

Firstly, most of your metadata will come from your data management plan, which should include a good description of research data. This will help other researchers understand the data, its spatial and temporal limits, and the research question for which the data was originally collected or generated.

A good data description would cover:

  • What the data is
  • Who can use it
  • When it can be used
  • How it can be used
  • What it might be used for
  • Where it can be found
  • How long it will be available

For assistance with describing your research data please

Why describe data?

  • It publicises your data
  • It attracts collaborators
  • It attracts citations for the data
  • It helps to avoid unnecessary duplication of research

Research Data Australia

All UQ eSpace Research Data Collections are searchable or harvested by:

  • Research Data Australia  -  a service designed to provide connections between data, projects, researchers and institutions aiming to promote visiblilty of Australian research data collections in search engines. Research Data Australia is managed by the Australian National Data Service.

Data description examples

TheatreWorks Archive
UQ eSpace / Research Data Australia

A record of the company's productions from 1980 to 1990 including an illustrated chronology, a short history, videos, production photos, audio interviews, the thesis, articles associated with the thesis.

Global Reef Record
UQ eSpace  / Research Data Australia

The Global Reef Record is a collection of high definition images and video footage filmed on multiple coral reefs sites around the world. T This data is important for the future conservation and management of coral reefs and will encourage global engagement with reef health issues.