Data and metadata in

Work process

What can be submitted?


  • Research data and material on which scientific analysis in any research area is based.
  • SND recommends a number of different file formats that are appropriate for reuse and long-term storage. However, the basic requirement is that the material can be extracted in a usable condition. Contact your local research support unit or SND ( if you have any questions about file formats.
  • Data that are submitted to SND have to be anonymised (de-identified), unless the research principal is the University of Gothenburg. As universities and research institutions establish DAU and local storage solutions, this limitation will gradually not apply for their locally stored data. Anonymised data are identifiable personal data that have been de-identified, so that it is no longer possible to directly or indirectly identify a living individual from the data. Personal data are considered to be anonymised if all code and encryption keys, including those with the primary researcher, have been destroyed.

Metadata and other documentation:

  • Use the data description form to give the research material a structured and comprehensive description. The fields in the form will alter depending on the selected research area.
  • If the project’s research data are made accessible elsewhere, you can still describe them with SND, so that they become visible and searchable in the national metadata catalogue. The catalogue entry should specify where and how to access the actual data. You can enter whether the data material has a persistent identifier (PID), if it is covered by a specific license, and under which terms the data will be accessible.
  • In addition to the metadata specified in the form, you can also attach other related documentation, such as questionnaires, variable lists, study design, methodological descriptions, reports, etc. Such documentation may be necessary for a new user’s understanding of the data material.

Who can submit data?

SND accepts data from 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. The principal can be a university, a public research institute, or a county council under whose remit research is conducted. The research principal always has the highest responsibility for the research.

It is commonly a researcher who is employed in a university or higher learning institution who will take the initiative for and manage the data description and deposit. That researcher then acts as a representative for their principal. Any other member of a research project can make the data description; what matters is that they know the material well in order to make it as well-documented as possible.

Describing, documenting, and depositing data

The first step in creating a catalogue entry in SND’s research data catalogue is to decide whether the data shall be accessible via the catalogue, or whether you will only submit a data description. If you are going to upload data, you choose how other users shall gain access to them by selecting an accessibility level for the data.

In step two, you describe the data material in the web form. Enter who is responsible for the data, how the data have been collected, keywords, etc. You can also upload or add links to other relevant information, such as project description, codebooks, and publications related to the data material.

If you have chosen to submit data to the catalogue, you upload the data files in the form. If they are too large to upload (larger than 500MB), or contain sensitive data, contact SND at, or your local DAU, to discuss a more suitable method for uploading the files.

Before you submit the data, you, as a representative of the research principal, will have to read and approve of our deposit agreement. The agreement details the terms and conditions for deposited data, as well as the conditions for how to make the data accessible. As the universities and higher education institutions establish their DAU functions, the current deposit agreement will gradually be replaced by a one-time agreement. You can leave a message when you submit the data material, which is recommended if, for instance, the data need to receive a PID before a certain date.

When you have submitted the metadata and data in the form, staff in your local DAU or SND will review the material and prepare it for a catalogue entry in SND’s national research data catalogue.

Read more about this process in Review and processing.