The Coordination Task for the Management of Research Data

As a public body (myndighet), Stockholm University has a responsibility to manage, store, make accessible and preserve research data produced at the university. A university-wide strategic plan and coordinated infrastructure is needed to support researchers in this task and to meet the increasing demands of Open Science and access to research results and research data.

The coordination task is a result of the Research Data Project carried out during the autumn of 2016 by assignment from the Head of Administration. Results of the project are presented in the report ‘Hantering av forskningsdata vid Stockholms universitet – förslag till strategi och struktur’ (last updated 16 Dec 2016), which includes recommendations for a number of specific actions mainly within three identified areas: strategy, structure and IT systems.

Actions carried out in the course of this work operate within existing guidelines and in anticipation of those to come, such as the General Data Protection Regulation and requirements and recommendations from political and funding organizations, as well as initiatives generated by research-driven establishments in the field of data management.

The goal of this task is to coordinate skills, expertise and resources within the divisions of The Archives and Records Office, The Research Support Office, IT and The University Library in order to collectively develop research support services for the management of research data. These services are developed using a user-oriented approach based on the requests of researchers for services and support adapted to where they find themselves within the research process rather than external, administrative-oriented needs.

The University Library was tasked with the responsibility of leading and coordinating the joint administrative work for initiating, developing and implementing services and support for managing, storing, making accessible and preserving research data in conjunction with relevant sections within the administration and core services. The work is aligned with the national efforts being planned within the frameworks of The Universities’ Reference Group for Infrastructure (URFI), as well as The Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF) and other stakeholders. The coordination task runs from 15 June 2017 until 21 December 2018. It is specified in the task that Stockholm University, along with relevant internal and external stakeholders, will initiate and develop:

  • A cross-administrative working group for research data with representatives from relevant divisions
  • A reference group of researchers consisting of representatives designated by their respective fields
  • A recommendation for a general research data policy
  • A general template for data management plans (DMP) according to established requirements
  • Support, guides and instruction concerning research data management.
  • Coordination of the university’s work within the Swedish National Data Service (SND) consortium
  • Establishment and development of an object for publication and research data within the administrative structural model

By the end of the coordination task, the goal is for Stockholm University to have an established local infrastructure with functioning operations, relevant skills and an efficient and coordinated organization which can support researchers in the handling of their research data.

The Reference Group for Research Data

The purpose of the researcher reference group is to create better conditions for working in a user-oriented manner (from the needs of researchers) rather than administrative-oriented (albeit with consideration of guidelines). By having direct dialogues with researchers from different disciplines, we can regularly touch base on the development of activities for research data, disseminate information and receive suggestions, requirements and requests for support and services based on diverse researcher requirements and expectations. The reference group further allows us the opportunity to maintain a focus on users, participation, transparency and work more efficiently by communicating directly with core services more quickly and easily concerning specific, relevant questions pertaining to research data.

Reference Group Members

Anders Moberg Associate Professor, Dept. of Physical Geography

Camilla Bardel, Professor, Dept. of Language Education

Ilona Koupil, Professor, Dept. of Public Health Science

Lars Arvestad, Lecturer, Dept. of Mathematics

Mark Klamberg, Lecturer, Dept. of Law

Michael Gähler, Researcher, Swedish Institute for Social Research

Patrik Andersson, MRI Physicist, Dept. of Linguistics

The Research Data Project

During the autumn of 2016 a working group was established to formulate and submit recommendations for how research data can be maintained, made accessible and stored over the long and short term. Representatives from University administration (archives, the library, research support, IT, the Department of Strategic Planning) and researcher representatives from subjects within the humanities and natural sciences were included in the project, with The University Library acting as coordinator.

The purpose of this project was to identify the needs regarding research support services, the administrative resources involved, and to elevate the level of preparedness in anticipation of coming directives and guidelines concerning open access to research data. The goal was to investigate which kinds of support and services researchers were requesting, how needs varied between disciplines and how the administration might improve cooperation, coordination and the development of these services. Project members also assessed current guidelines and policies to determine which required updating in order to allow for the management, storage, accessibility and preservation of research data.

If you want to know more about how we work with research data at Stockholm University, please contact us at opendata@su.se.