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The real-time data collected helps scientists better understand what’s happening to rivers and estuaries around the world.

Should it be,

"The real-time data that is collected..."?

What is the rule regarding this?

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There is a rule called Reduced Relative Clause allowing you to delete the relative pronoun and the verb to be when the following lexical (main) verb is in the participial (either past or present participial) form.

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  • P.s. While it's true that 'collected..' is a post-modifing participial clause (not a relative clause), the term 'reduced relative clause' is still helpful and easier for learners to understand.
    – user178049
    Sep 5 '17 at 13:04

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