SND’s final network meeting in 2019 took place on 26–27 November in Lund. The meeting, with the theme “Gott och blandat om forskningsdata” (“Bits and pieces on research data”), gathered approximately 90 participants from 30 higher learning institutions and research institutes, in talks about research data from several perspectives. During the network meeting, there was also an informal meeting for the network’s legal officers in order to discuss the need for a sub-network with a focus on legal questions.
The transition to open access to research data gives rise to a large number of new questions, especially concerning legal matters. As the SND network grows and the universities’ research data support functions (DAU) become more established, there is increased importance for the legal framework around research data. For instance, the future model for the infrastructure entails a shift from central storage of research data in SND, to a system with localised storage solutions with the network members.
In connection to the network meeting, some of the legal officers in the network got together to discuss how to approach the new legal challenges, and possibly prepare some form of support to the network members. The meeting was chaired by SND’s recently appointed legal officer, Erica Schweder.
—In a very short time, a number of questions concerning copyright, personal information, contract law, and data storage have arisen. It’s obvious that there is a need for expert support in these kinds of matters, says Erica Schweder.
The participants in the legal meeting discussed how a legal network might function, and what their purpose would be.
—Many legal questions are complex and cannot be given a straight answer. A legal network could strive to reaching consensus on these matters. One idea might be to work out various scenarios where we can agree on a common, principled stance. Even though a legal network has to solve complex issues, we would benefit from reaching consensus on simpler issues. That would make it easier for us to communicate with researchers in a unified way, says Erica Schweder.
A first meeting for the legal network is planned to take place in Gothenburg within a near future. For comments, suggestions, or questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bits and pieces on research data
The programme for the two half-days in Lund targeted questions about the work with research data from various perspectives. During day one, Maria Johnsson and Kristoffer Holmqvist discussed the process of creating a function for research data support in Lund University. The participants were also given a brief overview of the training initiatives for doctoral students from five different faculty libraries, and Maggie Hellström presented RDA and the activities in the Swedish RDA node.
Day two had parallel tracks, where the participants could choose between different sessions on how network members can become certified as trusted data repositories, challenges for licenses on research data, how to host workshops on data management plans, and on creating a guide to establishing a DAU.