🟡Blog Post - June 2023

June 18, 2023 - Blog Post

Biomedical Research Infrastructure and the Imperative for Robust Research Data Management: A Personal Perspective

I want to share my insights on a subject close to my heart and professional life: research data management (RDM) within biomedical research infrastructure. However, it's important to clarify that these views are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of reNEW Copenhagen or the UCPH Faculty of Sund.

Biomedical Research Infrastructure: A Data-Intensive Landscape

Biomedical research has always been a dynamic, ever-evolving field, but recent technological advances, such as genomic sequencing, digital imaging, and computational biology, have led to unprecedented expansion. This has resulted in a deluge of data needing appropriate storage, management, analysis, and interpretation infrastructure. Proper management of this data will transform it into a powerful tool for scientific discovery.

The Integral Role of Research Data Management in Biomedicine:

At this infrastructure's core sits RDM. This crucial discipline oversees all data planning, handling, organization, documentation, storage, and sharing. Effective RDM in biomedical research allows for the following:

  • Ensuring Data Quality and Accuracy

  • Enhancing data accessibility and reusability

  • Facilitating data reproducibility

  • Meeting ethical and legal data requirements

  • Providing data security

  • Fostering collaborations data sharing, and

  • Ensuring the longevity and preservation of data for future use.

Inadequate RDM can lead to various undesirable outcomes, including data loss, inconsistencies in results, and data privacy and security issues, thereby undermining the integrity of biomedical research.

Identifying Challenges and Offering Solutions

Data Volume and Complexity,

The sheer volume and complexity of data generated in biomedical research present a significant challenge for RDM. Standardizing, cataloging, and maintaining data in a usable format across multiple projects and organizations can be overwhelming. However, employing advanced algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence can help streamline data processing, analysis, and storage.


Another critical issue is interoperability, or the ability of different systems to work together. A lack of interoperability can limit data sharing and collaboration. Addressing this requires developing and implementing universal standards and protocols for data formatting, metadata, and exchange.

Data Security and Privacy

Since biomedical research often involves sensitive patient data, maintaining privacy and ensuring security is paramount. This can be achieved by implementing strict protocols, encryption, anonymization, and access controls while complying with regulatory guidelines.

Infrastructure and Funding

Establishing robust data storage, processing, and sharing infrastructure is vital. This requires significant investments in hardware, software, and skilled personnel. While it is encouraging to see funding agencies and institutions recognizing the importance of this and making increased investments in RDM infrastructure, it remains an ongoing challenge.


The future of biomedical research is closely tied to effective RDM. By addressing the challenges related to data volume, complexity, interoperability, security, privacy, and infrastructure, we can harness the immense potential of the ongoing data revolution in biomedicine. It's imperative that, as researchers, funders, and policymakers, we prioritize enhancing RDM. Building a robust biomedical research infrastructure is not just about data management; it's about improving human health and saving lives.

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