New perspectives on data management and open research data in the Nordic countries

It focused on strategic work on data management issues, enhancing FAIRness and open access to research data, and exploring potential for Nordic collaboration.

The aim of the event was to bring together Nordic stakeholders who work strategically with data management issues and enhancing FAIRness of research data. The participants came from a range of organisations in the Nordic countries, representing, among others, researchers, universities and research funders.

Sometimes talking about open data and digitisation sounds like something that will happen in the future. However, already today, we live in a world of digital information everywhere around us, influencing our everyday life. It sets research world ahead of new challenges and expectations on not only keeping up relevance and good quality of research data, but also to enable increased open access to research data. In order to achieve that, there is a strong need for evolving traditional methods of data management, creating new ways of enhancing quality, persistence, relevance, openness and reusability.

One of the main challenges regarding open access to research data within the Nordic countries appeared to be access to data. Concerning openness, some key priorities for further efforts were mentioned, such as:

  • Enhanced knowledge of data management/FAIR/open research data at all levels
  • Coordination of work in order to avoid double constellations
  • Adoption of data management plans to define and make responsibilities visible
  • The role of the funders in pointing out that data management plans are required
  • Investments in infrastructure, technical solutions and support
  • Incentives and recognition for researchers to share their data, which leads to
  • Culture change mechanisms for promoting data stewardship

Diverse approaches to work with data management plans and tools were presented from several stakeholders. Regarding the whole research cycle, the participants discussed the benefits that data management plans provide with respect to planning of work and services connected to data management needs, for example data storage. Data management plans can also be beneficial for defining roles and responsibilities for data management during different stages of the data life cycle.

Overall, there are many opportunities and challenges in this area where there are advantages for Nordic cooperation. The event was appreciated and several of the participants pointed out that these issues are very important, which may mean that there will be several Nordic events about data management and open access to research data arranged in the future.



Gudmund Høst

Director of the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC)