SND – a national collaboration
Swedish National Data Service (SND) has a primary function to support the accessibility, preservation, and re-use of research data and related materials. Together with a network of more than 30 universities and public research institutes, we strive to create a national infrastructure for open access to research data.
As of January 2018, SND is run by a consortium consisting of University of Gothenburg, Karolinska Institutet, Lund University, Stockholm University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå University, and Uppsala University. University of Gothenburg is the host university of SND, and the SND headquarters are located in Gothenburg. The seven consortium universities contribute with expertise through so-called domain specialists who have extensive experience and knowledge from different research fields and research data management. There is also a national network connected to SND, with approximately 30 higher learning institutions and public research institutes.
Today, SND receives research data directly from researchers or research groups and makes them accessible, but in order to meet the growing demands for open access, the operations are developing into a distributed large-scale model together with the SND network members. In this new business model, the work with making research data accessible will gradually take place in the local support functions for research data that are being established with the network members.
Why should research data be openly accessible?
The question of open access to research data is of high interest for a number of stakeholders, internationally as well as nationally. It is increasingly common for funding bodies to require that publically funded research is made freely accessible to the public. By encouraging openness, the goal is that research shall be made more easily accessible, useful, and transparent. This will create better conditions for future research, while it also benefits the public and society as a whole by facilitating innovation and data use in fields beyond the research community.
Open access through SND
SND’s mission is to create favourable conditions for researchers who want to make their research data accessible to the public and other researchers. If research data are to be findable, citable, and reusable, a few things are needed: detailed metadata, a persistent identifier, and a possibility to search for them in some sort of catalogue or portal. With SND, metadata and research data can be described and made accessible with the help of a data description form, and published in our research data catalogue. After that, published data can be re-used for secondary analyses, new research, feasibility studies, reviews of research results, and education. The main principle is for research data to be as open as possible, but as protected as necessary.
Education and information
In order to make sure that research data remain accessible today as well as in the future, they need to be managed correctly during the entire research process. A part of SND’s educational effort is to support researchers in data management. This involves information about data management plans, documentation, persistent file format, and secure storage. SND has also developed guiding material regarding some legal aspects of research, such as ethical reviews, informed consent, and managing personal information. You can find this information under Data Management. If you are a researcher and want advice on the best data management options for you, you can contact one of our staff.
SND also offers education and development services for the network members’ research data support functions, for instance the web-based course BAS Online and the commissioned education Forskningsdata: tillgänglighet, hantering och samverkan (Research data: Accessibility, Management, and Collaboration). SND also arranges various types of events about research data and data management. Read more about our events under SND events.