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The Swedish research data infrastructure

In Sweden, there is an ongoing process of developing national solutions for research data management and sharing. These developments are connected to the ongoing progression of research data infrastructures and evolution of open science that is currently occurring both within the European Union and globally.

National infrastructure for research data management

In Sweden, an infrastructure is currently being developed providing national solutions for research data management and sharing. Umeå university is part of the Swedish national data service (SND) consortium, which already provides a national research data catalogue for metadata descriptions.

Following the international developments in the field of research data management, the work of SND has grown to a holistic approach toward research data management and infrastructure. The organisation are responsible for coordinating and moving the effort forward nationally, within the framework of the consortium. Connected to the consortium is a network of Swedish higher education institutions and public research institutes that have agreed to create local units for managing research data. More information about SND and about research data management in general can be found on the SND homepage.

Swedish national data service (SND)

The SND consortium

The SND network

Members of the SND consortium

In addition to the seats of learning the consortium is financed by The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR). University of Gothenburg is the host of the consortium and the SND headquarters are located in Gothenburg.

National catalogue for research data

The SND research data catalogue is being developed to be used on a large scale as a publication platform for metadata descriptions of research data. As a researcher affiliated with Umeå university, it is possible to register metadata about research data in the catalogue, using an Umu-id to log in to the user interface of the catalogue (Doris).

When a metadata registration is submitted by a researcher affiliated with the university, the registration undergoes a quality control by the Library research data team. We make sure that the metadata, documentation and submitted data connected to the registration meet the requirements set by SND for publication in the catalogue as well as the FAIR principles. If needed, we contact the person responsible for the registration for further information. The Library research data team is, along with other parts of the university, a local node of the national infrastructure.

The user interface in Doris is based on the DDI (Data documentation initiative) metadata standard, presenting a format that is machine readable as well as interoperable with other systems and databases. Other systems can retrieve metadata information from the SND catalogue, making the research output more visible and easier to find via search engines.

Publishing a research data description in the SND catalogue does not mean that the data itself must be open. Access to the research data may be restricted for legal or other reasons, but the metadata descriptions should always be openly available. Metadata descriptions are intrinsically valuable and should be preserved even in cases where the related research data is destroyed or deleted.

Describe and share data (SND)

The SND national research data catalogue

Development areas

Several areas related to research data management have emerged as foci for SND as the need for infrastructure developments within research data management has increased. Focus points for the SND consortium and network include:

  • Training measures, information and support
  • Technical development, not least regarding local repositories for research data
  • Collaboration regarding legal interpretations of laws and guidelines concerning research data and data management

Local node at Umeå university

The staff members at the university who are working to build our research data management infrastructure do so in connection with SND and the national network organised by SND. In addition to the library, the university lawyers, ITS (IT support and system development), the archive and the university's domain specialists are involved in this work. Specialised information about their areas can be found within their respective web pages or by contacting them directly.

Links and contact information:

Organisation and contacts 

The role of the Swedish Research Council

The Swedish Research Council is, beside being an important research funding body, also a key national organisation in the work towards FAIR data. The Swedish Research Council has been assigned by the Swedish Government to, based upon the FAIR principles, outline the criteria used to evaluate the processing of and making publicly funded research data accessible. In the long run, the Swedish Research Council must collaborate with the National Library of Sweden to develop a method to evaluate the extent to which a scientific output as a whole fulfils the FAIR principles. In 2018 the council presented the report "Kriterier för FAIR forskningsdata" (Criteria for FAIR research data), containing criteria to evaluate the "FAIRness" of research data.

Previously, the Swedish Research Council has worked to develop the report “Proposal for national guidelines for open access to scientific information”, presented to the Swedish Government in 2015. The proposal was based upon the guidelines that the European Commission had designed for its member states regarding open science.

FAIR data

The Swedish Research Council report on criteria for measuring research data "FAIRness" (in Swedish with english summary):

Kriterier för FAIR forskningsdata