Here you can find frequently asked questions about data and sharing data via SND.

FAQ illustration with a question mark on a stack of papers.

What is research data?

When we use the term ‘research data’ at SND, we mean digital material that may be used for scientific analyses, regardless of format or research field.

What is metadata?

Metadata is structured information used to describe and categorize digital information, in other words “data about data”. The metadata in the SND research data catalogue make it easier to find and understand the specific properties of a research material and to describe, for instance, what methods were used to collect the data.

Why should I share the project data?

For several reasons. There is a growing demand that publicly funded research should be open, and an increasing number of scientific journals require that authors make the data that their analyses are based on accessible. Sharing research data benefits research as well as society. It increases transparency, enables new research, innovations, and use of data in fields beyond the research community. On an individual level, researchers can feel motivated by having their studies and datasets cited and made visible.

Who can share data through SND?

Anyone who represents a research principal, meaning a public authority or a natural or legal person in whose activities research is carried out, can describe and share data through SND. It is usually researchers employed at a higher education institution who take the initiative to and handle the data description and submission. The researcher does this as a representative for their research principal.

Does it cost anything to describe and share data through SND?

No, it's completely free of charge.

Which types of data can be made accessible in the SND research data catalogue?

Research data and materials that are used, or can be used, for scientific analysis in any research discipline can be made accessible in SND’s catalogue. Here you can read more about sharing data through SND .

How do data end up in the SND research data catalogue?

In order to make data and metadata findable in the catalogue, we use SND’s documentation system DORIS. In DORIS, you can manage and create new data descriptions in a web form. This form builds on international standards for metadata, meaning that the information you enter about a data material becomes structured and findable. To use DORIS, you have to log into My Pages on the SND website.

What is DORIS?

DORIS is a tool that researchers can use to publish research data and make them accessible in SND’s catalogue. The system can be used throughout the entire process, from describing and publishing research data, to following and reviewing data requests. To use DORIS, you have to log into My Pages on the SND website.

What happens to the information I enter in the form in DORIS?

Metadata and data that are described and uploaded in DORIS are made accessible as an entry in the SND national research data catalogue. Before the entry is published, the information is reviewed, and the principal investigator is given an opportunity to read through and approve of the data description. The review is focused on the documentation of the data and data collection, not an assessment of the scientific quality of the research data. Here you can read more about sharing data with SND.

Can I upload data files of any size?

Data and documentation files can be uploaded directly in the data description form in DORIS. At present, you can only upload files up to a maximum of 500MB in size in the web form. If you want to share data files that are larger than that, please contact us at snd@snd.se, and one of our staff will advise you on how to transfer the files.

What is the best file format for uploading data in the form in DORIS?

SND recommends file formats that are open (non-proprietary), well-documented, and commonly used. This will ensure that data are, as far as possible, reusable over time. We prefer that data are uploaded in a format suitable for long-term preservation and can help you find a suitable format and, if needed, to convert files into other formats.
Read more about recommended file formats:

Choosing a file format

Guides for best practice in research data management

Can SND accept data that contain personal information?

Data that contain personal information can be described and shared in the SND research data catalogue only if the organization you represent has signed an agreement about it. Here you can read more about which HEIs and research organizations that offer their researchers this possibility and how it works. If you belong to an organization that doesn’t offer this possibility to share data with personal information through SND, you have to make sure that the data have been anonymized.

What does it mean that data have been anonymized?

Anonymized data are data which have been de-identified, so that it is no longer possible to identify a living individual from the data. This means that all code and encryption keys have been destroyed and that individuals cannot be re-identified from the data. Anonymized data are exempt from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and complementary legislation and can therefore be submitted to SND. Read more about anonymization here.

Does SND assume ownership of data that are made accessible in the SND research data catalogue?

No, the research principal always has full ownership of data that are described and made accessible through SND. The research principle is the public authority or natural or legal person in whose activities the research is carried out, and who has the highest responsible for the research.

Can I edit a published data description?

Yes, if you have published a data description in the SND catalogue, you can update the information or share new versions of the data. You do that in DORIS, using the New version function in your data description.

Can I update the data description with later publications?

Yes. You do that in the same way as you update other information in the data description: with the New version function in DORIS.

Can I describe research data from an active project with SND?

Yes. You are welcome to describe ongoing research in the SND catalogue to make it visible. If you want to share the data via SND and receive a DOI (persistent identifier) for the data, there have to be saved versions of the data. A dataset that has received a DOI cannot be changed; but you can share new and updated versions of a dataset, generating a new DOI for each new dataset and version.

What happens if the principal investigator of a published study retires or dies?

A principal investigator who is no longer active due to retirement or death can still be the principal investigator of the study. If that principal investigator was also the contact person for the data, you need to appoint a new contact for the data.

Can I withdraw data that I have shared in the SND research data catalogue?

Yes, the owner of the catalogue entry/data description can always request to have their described and uploaded data back from SND, and to have the entry de-published.

How are research data that are made accessible with SND reused?

Data from the SND catalogue are often reused for further research, but are also used for teaching purposes, for example in student essays or theses on bachelor or master level.

Can I see how many views the project data have had since they were made accessible in the catalogue?

SND keeps statistics over the datasets that are published in the research data catalogue. If you want to know how many times a published material has been requested or downloaded, you can contact us at snd@snd.se. These statistics can be useful if you want to assert the value of your scientific production.

How do you cite data?

When you use data from SND, it's important that you mention where the material comes from, and who has compiled it. You should enter a PID/DOI (a unique link that points to the data material) and a reference to the creator/primary researcher in your documentation.

Most entries in the SND catalogue already have citations in different referencing styles that you can simply copy and use. You can, for instance, choose from common styles such as the APA (American Psychological Association), Harvard, or Oxford reference systems.

What is a DOI?

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique link to that is issued to every dataset shared in the SND research data catalogue. A DOI is a permanent link to the data that remains the same, even if the data files are moved. The purpose of a DOI is to ensure that research data are cited correctly, and to show which version of the data that has been used. Scientific journals often require that in order to publish material based on datasets, the datasets have to be accessible and have a DOI. Read more about DOI here.

What does it mean that a data repository is certified?

A certified data repository (a Trusted Digital Repository, TDR) follows certain recommended methods and standards for data management. It also means that you provide FAIR data. SND is currently the only Swedish repository with a TDR certification. Read more about SND’s methods for trustworthy data management and data preservation here.



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