SND – a national collaboration
Swedish National Data Service (SND) has a primary function to support the accessibility, preservation, and reuse of research data and related materials. Together with a network of around 40 universities and public research institutes, we form a national infrastructure for open access to research data. The goal is to make access to research data as "open as possible, as closed as necessary." (Guidelines on FAIR Data Management in Horizon 2020, p. 4)
SND is run by a consortium of universities. The consortium consists of University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 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. SND is primarily funded by the Swedish Research Council and the consortium universities. The nine consortium universities contribute with expertise in various domains of research data through so-called Domain Specialists who have extensive experience and knowledge from different research fields and research data management.
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 in collaboration 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, known as Data Access Units (DAU), that are being established with the network members.
Here we have a collection of documents that describe the SND model and other parts of the SND operations in more detail.
Why should research data be openly accessible?
The question of open access to research data is of great interest to 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 form of catalogue or portal. With SND, metadata and research data can be described and made accessible with the help of a data description form in DORIS, and then published in our research data catalogue. After that, published data can be reused for secondary analyses, new research, feasibility studies, reviews of research results, and education. The main principle is that research data shall be as open as possible, but as protected as necessary.
Training 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. An important part of SND’s operations 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 how to manage data with personal information. You can find this information under Manage Data. 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 training and development services for the network members’ research data support functions, for instance the web-based course BAS Online (in Swedish only) and the commissioned training Forskningsdata: tillgänglighet, hantering och samverkan (Research Data: Accessibility, Management, and Collaboration). SND also organises various types of events about research data and data management. Read more about our events under Events.