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Data, lecture
Photo: Lena Katarina Johansson

What is research data?

Research data refers to information that has been collected to underpin scientific results and conclusions, and can consist of for instance experiments, measurements, statistics, source code, image- and audio material, interviews and surveys.


Research data requires metadata to be understood and interpreted correctly. Metadata is information about when, how, where, by who and why research data were collected - and where they are located. Standardized metadata make your research data more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable, in line with the FAIR principles. You create standardized metadata in data repositories for data publishing.

Data repositories curated by Stockholm University

Good research data management

Research data that has been collected or generated within a project is a valuable resource that should be handled with care during the entire research process. The necessary measures depend on your specific research data. Good research data management includes that:

  • necessary permits, consents, agreements and data protection measures are in place before the project starts.
  • research data is well-organized and handled securely during the project.
  • research data is handled and documented as to facilitate publishing and preservation.
  • research data is published as FAIR and open as possible. 
  • research data and associated research information is preserved and archived after the project ends.

Depending on the research data you work with, you may need to contact the Data Protection Officer, the Ethics Support Function, the IT department, the head of your department and the Research Data Management Team. 

To write a data management plan (DMP) is a way to organize your data management. If you plan for your data management early on, you can predict needs, use the university support and avoid problems that could appear at later stages in the project. The university is responsible for the security of the research data and may need to take extensive precautionary measures, depending on how sensitive data you handle.

Three boxes with words folder structure, file naming and logbook for documentation.
Three ways to make your research data more structured, organized and well-documented.

Having structured, organized and well-documented data will make work easier for you, both now and in the future, and for potential colleagues and collaborators. Early on, it is important to consider how to preserve the understanding of what occurred during the research project, and thus how the material should be interpreted. How well the material is documented and described with accompanying metadata is crucial for other researchers, and society at large, to be able to understand, assess and re-use the data that has been collected.

Instruction for the processing of personal data in research
How to inform research subjects and ask for their consent
Guides to good research data management, SND

Tools for research data management

Stockholm University offers secure tools to facilitate the work of managing, documenting and storing research data: DMPonline, LabArchives and Sunet Drive/Nextcloud. Contact the Research Data Management Team if you want practical support, advice or webinars about the tools.

Tool for Data Management Plan, DMPonline
Electronic Lab Notebook, LabArchives
Secure data storage, Sunet Drive/Nextcloud

Rules and regulations

The university has adopted a policy for open science and a plan to complement the policy.

Open Science Policy
Open Science Plan
Governing documents that regulate research at Stockholm University


Research Data Management Team
For questions on research data management, publication and preservation.
Office for Research, Engagement and Innovation Services
For questions relating to research integrity and ethics.
Data Protection Officer
For questions on GDPR, information security and legal advice, consult Legal advice via serviceportalen