Guidelines for the management of research data at University of South-Eastern Norway

Guidelines for the management of research data at University of South-Eastern-Norway

Procecc owner: Vise Rector for Reseach, innovation and Internationalisation

Version nr.:1 Valid from: 01.07.2018

Approved by: Vise Rector Pål Augestad


1 Objective

Research data from USN shall be made available according to USN’s Open Access policy, which is based upon the EU and government’s principles that research data should be as open as possible - as closed as necessary.

Researchers at USN must save their research data in an appropriate and secure archive.

Open research data must follow the FAIR Data Principles, which state that the data shall be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.

Research data can be exempted from the requirements for open access where other legal concerns, such as security, confidentiality, commercial sensitivity, or other concerns limit accessibility.


2 Definition

Research data is defined in this context as any measurements, notes, or reports which are generated or which occur during the research process. This includes but is not limited to numerical data, texts, images, or video or audio recordings, which are generated by new experiments, assemblages of existing data, or through other means.


3 Ownership

The University owns research data produced by its employees unless explicitly stated otherwise. This also applies after termination of employment at USN. For projects with external partners, ownership of data is as specified in the cooperation agreement.

The University does not own research data produced by students, unless the student is also an employee of the University (such as with PhD students), or when otherwise specified by the terms of an externally financed project. The same applies to exchange students and visiting researchers.


4 Archiving

4.1 Choosing an archive

The researcher is responsible for archiving their data in a secure archive owned by their institution or in a national or international archive. Research data shall be made available with an open license, such as a license from Creative Commons.

Data sets with sensitive information, whether that information concerns personal or commercial information, or which presents a security risk if made public, are to be saved in archives that have been developed especially for secure storage.

University employees should include an agreement regarding open access of research data when embarking upon a new external partnership.

4.2 Documentation

Research data that is published in an archive must include detailed metadata. This will ensure that the data is sufficiently well documented and can be re-used independently in the future. In addition to metadata, the researcher must include a ReadMe file in .txt format. The ReadMe shall include information about the collection and manipulation of the data, the instruments used to collect the data, the software needed to use the data, and other relevant information, including contact information for the researcher responsible for the data.

4.3 Access

Data that forms the basis for a research article should be made available as soon as possible, and no later than the date the publication is released. If the data cannot be made available because of legal, ethical, security or other reasons then a restricted license can be applied. Other data that can be of interest for other researchers should be made available within a reasonable time after collection and no later than three years after the project is concluded.

5 Data Management Plans

A data management plan (DMP) is a document that contains information regarding how data generated in a research project will be handled.

A data management plan shall be created for research projects at USN that generate or use research data. This should be created as early as possible in the research process and at the latest within six months of project initiation. The DMP is open for editing during the entire project period. The project leader is responsible for the DMP. A DMP is now mandatory for projects that receive support from the EU or the Norwegian Research Council.

6 Responsibilities

6.1 Researcher’s Responsibility

The researcher is responsible for uploading their data into the archive and for the contents of the data. The researcher declares that they have the right to deposit the data into the archive and that archiving is approved of any research partner at the time of uploading.

The researcher is responsible for ensuring that the archived data is not in violation of applicable laws and regulations for intellectual property or confidentiality.

6.2 USN’s Responsibility

The University will offer a secure service for managing, archiving and sharing research data, either within the University or in other suitable quality-controlled data archive infrastructures.

The University offers the data repository called the USN Research Data Archive (RDA). The University will offer instruction in the archiving, sharing, and publication of data in this archive or in other secure external archives and will assist researchers in developing standardized metadata.

The University is not responsible for errors that may be present in the deposited data. The University has no responsibility to investigate the illegal use of deposited data. The University will take all means necessary to ensure that the data in the depository remains available but has no responsibility for damage or loss to the data while it is archived in the RDA.

7 Guidelines

The guidelines for the management of research data will be continuously updated based on experience, user development, and changes in the applicable national and international regulations.