Tour of CESSDA – SND – Swedish National Data Service
This series of articles highlight each of CESSDA's national service providers one at a time. We visit our Swedish archive in Gothenburg to soak up the first spring sunbeams.
- Who are you and what role do you play in CESSDA?
SND is the Swedish service provider for CESSDA and takes part in many of the consortium's activities. Together with a network of around 40 universities and public research institutes, the Swedish National Data Service (SND) forms a national infrastructure for open access to research data from all scientific disciplines.
SND develops tools and services that facilitate the management, sharing, and reuse of research data. At SND, metadata and research data can be described and made accessible (with the help of a data description form) and published in the SND research data catalogue. Published data can be reused globally for secondary analyses, new research, feasibility studies, reviews of research results, and for educational purposes.
A big part of what SND does is to provide training and information. The SND website offers digital training materials for researchers as well as staff in research data support functions.
The web pages on data management contain a wealth of information that can be of assistance during the entire research process. SND also provides guides for data management plans, persistent file formats, and best practices for managing different types of data.
Researchers can contact any of the Research Data Advisors or Domain Specialists if they have questions about managing research data. SND also hosts various events connected to research data and data management
- When did your country become a member?
Sweden became a member of the “Old CESSDA” in 1980 (an informal umbrella organisation), then of CESSDA AS in 2013, and of CESSDA ERIC in 2017.
- What does your organisation bring to CESSDA?
SND staff have knowledge and experience in many areas related to research data and research data management. SND is currently involved in work related to the certification of data repositories, a data archiving guide, the creation of a common technological platform, and in supporting aspiring and/or new CESSDA members.
SND is responsible for the Swedish language translations of the European Language Social Science Thesaurus (ELSST) and the common controlled vocabularies in the CESSDA Vocabulary Service.
SND will also play a crucial role in the further development of the European Question Bank. Previous involvement has been in, for instance, persistent identifiers and the development of a common metadata profile for CESSDA.
As a national service provider, SND also takes part in larger projects. SND is a member of the SSHOC (Social Sciences & Humanities Open Cloud) cluster project and the EOSC Association (European Open Science Cloud). Some examples of previous projects are CESSDA SaW, SERSCIDA, DASISH, DwB, and CESSDA PPP (see past projects here).
- What tangible benefits does your organisation get out of being a CESSDA member?
The Swedish membership in CESSDA provides Swedish researchers and students with a number of benefits: access to well-documented and high-quality European research data, expert knowledge on data preservation and access, and training resources in several fields.
Moreover, the CESSDA Data Catalogue and the vocabulary service allow Swedish researchers to make their data visible and reusable internationally.
Being a national service provider gives SND the opportunity to influence the development of CESSDA and its tools and services. Being part of the CESSDA community also gives SND staff the opportunity to share expertise and technology with colleagues from all over Europe. This helps SND to maintain competence, stay up to date with important developments in the field of research data, and deliver high-quality data services to national and international users.
- Which CESSDA tools and/or services are of interest to your organisation? (see list online)
The tools and services of most interest to SND and our users are the CESSDA Data Management Expert Guide (DMEG), the CESSDA Data Catalogue, the ELSST Multilingual Thesaurus, and the CESSDA Vocabulary Service.
- How does the CESSDA Data Management Expert Guide help researchers to make their research data FAIR?
The CESSDA DMEG is comprehensive and gives a very good introduction to systematic research data management during different stages of a research project. This is a necessary basis for making research data FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable).
The guide covers close to all data management aspects in the research process for both qualitative and quantitative data, taking technical as well as legal issues into account.
- How is CESSDA helping you to make your data compliant with the FAIR Data principles?
CESSDA metadata requirements and technical solutions help us make our data FAIR compliant. Mandatory fields in the CESSDA Metadata Model make us aware of information needed to make data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.
Thanks to the common controlled vocabularies and the ELSST Multilingual Thesaurus, data from different CESSDA Service Providers are described in a similar way and with concepts that are understandable for our designated community.
Discussions within CESSDA on how to interpret and work for 'FAIRness' is also very helpful when developing the national service.
- Which CESSDA training events or resources do staff in your organisation recommend and why?
We find the range of CESSDA Training services to be very useful for researchers and students at Swedish universities, and also for research data professionals in the Swedish university network. Thanks to a variety of training activities organised by CESSDA, SND users get access to European expertise that would be hard to find elsewhere.
We recommend training activities on different CESSDA tools and services (DMEG, CESSDA Data Catalogue, etc.), as well as training on how to find data within different areas or data types. CESSDA webinars and tutorials are pedagogically structured and provide a good introduction to the different tools and services.
- How do you see CESSDA supporting you in 2021?
Overall, being a part of the CESSDA community helps SND to continue promoting the sharing of, and trustworthy access to, research data. CESSDA also facilitates global visibility for research data produced in Sweden.
The continuous development of CESSDA tools and services is useful for SND staff and users, e.g. researchers and research data professionals in the SND network.
The cooperation with CESSDA and the national service providers will also be important for SND as a new member in the EOSC Association via the University of Gothenburg.
SND network meeting at University of Gävle, 2019
Photo credits: SND.
Read the last article in this series about DATICE – The Icelandic Social Science Data Service.