Research Data Management – a new area for the library

Swedish

During spring 2017, the library has participated in an education in managing research data. The education has been led by the Swedish National Data Service (SND) and has included several different aspects of managing research data; creation of data management plans, description of data, file management, archiving and making data available to others. For three whole days, the library team for research support, along with archivist and legal experts at the university, has studied and discussed these issues. The education has been very rewarding, and given a deeper insight to how complex these issues are, not least the legal aspects of data management. This becomes especially clear when research is about people, and personal information is handled.

After the education at SND, a training package for researchers has been planned out, and a test of this has been carried out during the late spring. For two half days, four researchers at the university have participated in lectures and workshops on the management of research data, focusing on their own data. To be able to deepen the discussions with researchers who are experts in their own data, has been rewarding to all involved (including researchers). The researchers who participated in the training are Daniel Ekwall, Helena Francke, Katarina Karlsson and Laura Darcy.

The first half day was about data management plans. Data management plans are really no news in the research process. What’s new is that the data management plan is a coherent document answering all questions about why and how data is collected, how it is preserved, and who has access to it. This document needs updating continuously during the research process. Previously, similar issues may have been raised for research applications but not at the same level of detail. Some tools that could facilitate the work on data management plans were demonstrated.

The second half day was used to talk about legal aspects of data management and archiving of research data. The focus was on the new data protection regulation, which will come into force in May 2018. The four researchers had many questions regarding the handling of personal data in the light of the new regulation.

The education at SND will be the basis for establishing a working group at the University of Borås, whose task is to assist researchers with data management plans, archiving research data and making research data accessible. Currently, the prospective group is called Data Access Unit (DAU). Similar work is ongoing at most Swedish universities since the issue of archiving and open-source research data is high on the EU agenda (Horizon 2020, for example, requires open-source research data) and in Sweden it is assumed that many research funding will in future require the inclusion of data management plan in the application for research funding and open access to research data.

Do you want us to come to your research group for a conversation or workshop about research data and data management plans? Please contact us!

Read previous posts about research data in Forskningsrelaterat.

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