Here you can find frequently asked questions about data and sharing data via SND.

FAQ illustration with question mark

What is research data?

Research data are any data that are used for scientific analysis, irrespective of research field.

What is metadata?

Metadata are structured information which describe and classify digital information, in other words “data about data”. Metadata in the SND research data catalogue make it easier to find and understand the specific properties of a data material, and describe, for instance, the collection methodology.

Why should I share the project data?

For several reasons. There is a growing demand for publicly funded research to be open and an increasing number of scientific journals require that authors make the data that their analyses are based on accessible. Sharing research data benefits research as well as society. It increases transparency, enables new research, innovations, and use of data in fields beyond the research community. On an individual level, researchers can feel motivated by having their studies and datasets cited and made visible.

Who can share data via SND?

Data can be described and shared by anyone who represents a research principal, i.e. a governmental authority or a natural or legal person responsible for the research conducted in their remit. It is usually researchers employed at a higher education institution who take the initiative to create and manage the data description in the SND catalogue. The researcher then acts as a representative for their principal.

Is there a fee for describing and sharing data via SND?

No, it's completely free of charge.

Which types of data can be made accessible in the SND research data catalogue?

Research data and materials that are used for scientific analysis in any research discipline can be made accessible. Here you can read more about what can be shared in the research data catalogue.

How do I enter data into the SND research data catalogue?

In order to make data and metadata accessible in the catalogue, we use the SND documentation system DORIS. In DORIS, you can manage and create new data descriptions in a web form. This form builds on international standards for metadata, meaning that the information you enter about a data material becomes structured and findable. Before you can use DORIS you have to log into My Pages on the SND website.

What is DORIS?

DORIS is a resource where researchers can publish research data and make them accessible. The system can be used throughout the entire process, from describing and uploading research data, to requesting and reviewing data requests. In order to use DORIS, you must log into My Pages on the SND website.

What happens to the information I enter in the form in DORIS?

Metadata and data uploaded in the SND data description form are made accessible as an entry in our national research data catalogue. Before the entry can be displayed in the catalogue, the information is reviewed and the principal investigator is always given an opportunity to read through and update their data description. The review is not an assessment of the scientific quality of the research data, but focused on the documentation of data and data collection.

Can I upload data files of any size?

Data can be uploaded directly in the data description form in DORIS. At present, you can only upload files up to a maximum of 500MB in size. If you want to share data files that are larger, please contact us at ur@snd.gu.se, and one of our staff will advise you.

What is the best file format for uploading data in the SND form?

SND has evaluated a number of file formats that we consider suitable for long-term storage and accessibility of research data. These may change over time due to technical developments. Read more about choosing a file format.

Can SND accept data that contain personal data?

At present, SND can only accept data which have been anonymised (de-identified), with the exception of data from researchers at the University of Gothenburg. As HEIs and research institutions establish data support units or DAUs, this limitation will gradually not apply for their locally stored data. However, you can still describe research material in the SND catalogue without uploading the data.

What are anonymised data?

Anonymised data are data which have been de-identified, so that it is no longer possible to identify a living individual from the data. This means that code and encryption keys have been destroyed, and that individuals cannot be re-identified from the data. Anonymised data are exempt from the General Data Protection Regulation and complementary legislation.

Does SND assume ownership of data published in the research data catalogue?

No, the research principal always retains full ownership of data that are described and made accessible via SND. The research principle is the governmental authority or a natural or legal person responsible for the research conducted in their remit.

Can I edit a published data description?

Yes, if you have a published data description in the SND catalogue, you can update the information in the description or share new versions of the data. You do that in DORIS, using the New version function in your data description.

Can I update the study description with later publications?

Yes. You do that in the same way as you update other information in the data description: with the New version function in DORIS.

Can I describe research data from an active project with SND?

Yes. You are welcome to describe active and ongoing research in the SND catalogue to make it visible. If you are going to share the data via SND and receive a DOI (persistent identifier) for the data, there have to be saved versions of the data. A dataset that has received a DOI cannot change; but you can share new and updated versions of a dataset, generating a new DOI for each dataset.

What happens if the principal investigator of a published study goes into retirement or dies?

A principal investigator who is no longer active due to retirement or death can still be the principal investigator of the study. If that principal investigator was also the contact person for the study, you can appoint a new contact after consent from the research principal.

Can I take back data that I have shared in the SND catalogue?

Yes, the data owner can always have their described and uploaded data back from SND.

How are research data that are made accessible with SND reused?

Data from the SND catalogue are often reused for further research, but are also used for teaching purposes, e.g. in student essays or theses on bachelor or master level.

Can I see how many views the project data have had since they were made accessible in the catalogue?

SND keeps statistics over the datasets that are published in the research data catalogue. If you want to know how many times a published material has been requested or downloaded, you can contact us at ur@snd.gu.se. These statistics can be useful if you want to assert the value of your scientific production.

How do you cite data?

When you use data from SND, it's important that you mention where the material comes from, and who has compiled it. You should enter a PID/DOI (a unique link that points to the data material) and a reference to the creator/primary researcher in your document.

Most studies in the SND catalogue already have citations in different referencing styles that you can simply copy and use. You can find them in the catalogue entry on the ”Data and documentation” tab. 

Example of citation

What is a DOI?

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique link to that is issued to every dataset described in the SND research data catalogue. A DOI links the data to a persistent description that remains the same, even if the data files are moved. The purpose of a persistent identifier is to ensure correct citation of research data and to show which version of the data that has been used. Scientific journals often require that in order to publish material based on datasets, the datasets have to be accessible and have a DOI. Read more about DOI.

What does it mean that a data repository is certified?

A certified data repository (a Trusted Digital Repository, TDR) follows certain recommended methods and standards for trustworthy data management. These methods and standards also enable the FAIR data principles. SND is the only Swedish repository with a TDR certification. Read more about our methods for trustworthy data management and data preservation here.

Do you have questions that are not answered on this page?
Contact us!