Research data may be defined as the factual records (e.g. microarray, numerical and textual records, images and sounds, etc.) used as primary sources for research, and that are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings.
For the most part these data are born digital, and stored and managed electronically, making them easy to share, replicate, and combine with other data. However, in order to share and reuse data, they must be created and maintained in a manner consistent with the goal of long-term preservation. This involves active data management throughout the life-cycle of the data, beginning at the time they are first envisioned.
Source: Canadian Association of Research Libraries. (n.d.). Research Data Management. https://www.carl-abrc.ca/advancing-research/research-data-management
⇒ Jump to the Research Data Management tab to find more about how research data is organized, maintained, and shared.
Any data can be considered open if it is freely available to anyone to use, modify, and share. Importantly, any open data either resides in the public domain or is provided under an open license.
Read the Open Definition 2.1 by the Open Knowledge Foundation the specific definitions and requirements.
Read Open Data 101, a introduction to open data provided by the Government of Canada.