Infographic: What are research data?

Research data are the files generated or analysed in your research, that are not your research manuscript. Here are some examples.

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Research data are the files that support your research project, study or publication such as spreadsheets, documents, images, videos or audio. Research data could include:


Example file types

3D graphic

obj, stl, pl

Archived data

zip, rar, iso


mp3, wav, aif


python, r, java


doc, pdf, odt

Geographical & map

keyhole, GIS, gif


jpg, png, svg


cif, pdb, xyz




ppt, pptx, pptm


csv, xls, tsv


txt, rtf, bib


mp4, mov, avi


gephi, gexf

These are just some examples of the hundreds of different research data file types. Learn about the benefits of sharing research data.

Get your research data questions answered. If you have a question about research data, visit our Research Data Helpdesk for free, expert advice.

Springer Nature

We are a global publisher dedicated to providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help authors to share their discoveries; enable researchers to find, access and understand the work of others and support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data. We use our position and our influence to champion the issues that matter to the research community – standing up for science; taking a leading role in open research and being powerful advocates for the highest quality and ethical standards in research. We advance discovery by publishing robust and insightful research, supporting the development of new areas of knowledge and making ideas and knowledge accessible around the world.