Data and metadata in

Work process: Data and metadata in

What can be made accessible?


  • Research data and material on which scientific analysis in any research discipline is based. 
  • SND recommends a number of file formats which are appropriate for re-use and long-term storage of various data types. However, the basic requirement is that the material can be extracted in a usable condition. Contact your local research data support unit or SND ( if you have any questions about file formats.
  • Data that are made accessible have to be anonymised (de-identified), unless the research principal is the University of Gothenburg. As universities and research institutions connect their own data storage solutions to DORIS, this limitation will gradually not apply for their locally stored data. When this feature is in place, the system will automatically detect which options are available for you. Anonymised data are personal data which 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:

  • In DORIS you create new data descriptions by entering information in a form. This data description form is used to render a structured description of the research material, and the fields are altered depending on which research area profile you choose. If there isn’t a profile that suits your data, use the general profile.
  • If you disseminate the project’s research data elsewhere, you can still describe them so that they become visible and findable in the SND 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), and under which terms the data will be accessible.
  • In addition to the metadata specified in the form, you also need to 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.

On My Pages you can find more specific information about how to prepare data for sharing and the requirements on data and metadata before they can be made accessible in the SND research data catalogue.

Who can describe and share data with SND?

SND accepts data from anyone who represents a research principal, i.e. a governmental authority or a natural or legal person responsible for the researching operations. A higher education institution, public research institute, or a county council, are all research principals for the research conducted under their remit. The research principal always has the highest responsibility for the research.

It is commonly a researcher who is employed in a higher education institution who will take the initiative for disseminating data. That researcher then acts as a representative for their principal. Any other member of a research project can manage 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 uploading data

The first step in creating a catalogue entry in the SND research data catalogue is to create a user account on My Pages and enter the DORIS documentation system. You want to consider the options to make the data accessible in the catalogue or to just submit a data description.

In step two you create a new data description by beginning to fill out the form. If you have decided to upload data to the catalogue, consider how others will be able to access them. You do that by selecting an accessibility level for the data.

Next, you continue describing the data material in the form. Enter who is responsible for the data material, how the material has been collected, keywords, etc. You can also upload or add links to other relevant information, such as project description, codebooks, and publications that use the data material.

If you have selected to make the data accessible in the catalogue, you upload the data files in the form. If the files are too large to upload, or if they contain sensitive data, please contact SND ( or your local research data support unit 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 uploaded data, as well as the conditions for how to make the data accessible. You can leave a message when you submit the data material, which is recommended if, for instance, the data need to receive a PID (persistent identifier) before a certain date.

When you have submitted the data description, it will be reviewed and prepared for a catalogue entry in the SND national research data catalogue.

Read more about this process in Review and processing.