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Managing your research data

Your research data needs to be maintained long-term and securely so you can substantiate your research. Several laws govern how you manage your data. Upon application, your data management plan must be established and followed to ensure that your data is managed correctly.

Although the funding body does not require a complete data management plan, some costs may need to be budgeted. Therefore, you are advised to go through the entire application process template.

The funding body focuses on a more comprehensive plan at the application phase, not usually requiring a complete data management plan. Horizon 2020, for example, required a complete data management plan within six months of starting the project. Others require that the data management plan be created when the project has received funding, including the Swedish Research Council and Formas. You will find the requirements of more funding bodies on the webpage Funding bodies requirements for a data management plan and open access.

Researchers at Örebro University are recommended to develop a data management plan already at the application phase. You will find more about the elements of the data management plan on the webpage Data management plan components:

  • information security
  • IT resources needed for the project
  • budgeting costs linked to research data management and availability.

UK Data Service has developed a guide on cost considerations.

Questions that Horizon 2020 asked:

  • What standards will be applied?
  • How will research data be used and/or made available for verification and reuse? If research data cannot be made public, what is the reason for this?
  • How will research data be collected and preserved?

Furthermore, this should also:

  • Reflect the current state of consortium agreements on data management
  • Be compatible with the requirements of exploitation and intellectual property rights.

You should secure resources and budget lines for data management and submit an initial data management plan during the first six months of the project application.

The EU has pushed that EU-funded research data is to follow FAIR principles, which Swedish funders maintain.

Different disciplines use different language to describe the material on which reasoning, discussion and calculations are based. Therefore, a more general definition of the term research data is used here.

The definition of research data, based on the Horizon 2020 wording, is as follows:

“Research data can be described as facts or numbers that have been collected for examination and considered the basis for reasoning, discussion or calculations.

In a research context, examples of research data are statistics, results from experiments, measurement data, fieldwork observations, survey data, interviews, recordings (video/audio) and images."

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Classifying information

It is essential that you identify if any information is sensitive and needs special protection. (pdf, intranet Inforum)

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Risk and vulnerability analysis

In connection with a project's definition, it is pertinent to perform a Risk and Vulnerability Analysis (RSA). (Inforum - intranet)