SLU's data management policy

Last changed: 07 May 2024

Since 2022, SLU has had a data management policy that will help to increase the quality, dissemination, impact and innovative power of the university's research and environmental monitoring and assessment.

The policy describes principles for data management at SLU, including storage, publication and sharing of data.

SLU support functions for data management

Data Management Support (DMS) at the SLU University Library is a university-wide support function for all aspects of data management, with regard to research and environmental assessment data.

Other support functions


The research and environmental monitoring and assessment conducted at SLU should be characterised by good data management throughout the entire life cycle. Applicable legislation and good research practice set the framework for handling data. SLU supports the FAIR principles and aims to make data from research as well as environmental monitoring and assessment available as openly as possible and only as limited as necessary.

Below is a brief summary of the different parts of the policy (the full policy is linked above).

FAIR principles

SLU endorses the FAIR data sharing principles and considers properly managed, accessible, and reusable data as a valuable and necessary resource for conducting research, teaching and environmental monitoring and assessment of high quality.

The FAIR principles, which require research data to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable, have gained a lot of traction in recent years and have become keywords for good data management and open access to data.

Data management plans

The policy states: A data management plan must be drawn up, registered, and then maintained over time for each new project and/or study in research and environmental monitoring and assessment at SLU.

DMS provides a digital tool, and templates, and offers support.


The policy states: Data together with associated metadata and potential other documentation must be stored in a secure manner. They shall be protected from unauthorised access and loss, independent of whether or not the data are to be made publicly accessible

In order to be able to use a cloud service for storing personal data, there must be a data processing agreement with the supplier of the service. Cloud services may not be used for storing or processing sensitive personal data.

The primary storage should be on computers and storage media that are regularly backed up. There are a number of available options for storage within SLU and nationally.

Information security

The policy states: Data producers shall ensure that research and environmental monitoring and assessment data is protected, classified and risk assessed and that information security and data protection are followed in accordance with legislation, good research practice, and the University's regulations and instructions.


The policy states: Data generated in research as well as environmental monitoring and assessment at SLU shall be openly available with as few restrictions as possible. Data must be made available according to the principle "as early as possible, as late as necessary", based on the conditions of the project or study.

The requirement applies from the introduction of the policy, and thus not retroactively for data collected before September 2022.

The policy does not regulate in detail which data should be made available, in what form (raw data, processed data, aggregated data) or at what time.

As far as possible, data should be made available in data catalogues that provide data with persistent identifiers (PID). Preferably, a certified repository should be used. In cases where the datasets themselves cannot be made available (e.g. due to confidentiality or personal data), metadata should be published if possible.


The policy states: Research and environmental monitoring and assessment data generated at SLU are considered official documents and are subject to the constitutional principle of public access to official records. Thus, data must be, as a rule, released upon request and preserved in SLU's archives.

According to the regulations of the National Archives, universities are responsible for filing records of public documents. This responsibility entails, inter alia, that universities take measures to ensure that digital research documents can be presented and remain comprehensible and reliable throughout the time they are to be preserved.

Roles and responsibilities

Staff engaged in research and environmental monitoring and assessment

The person responsible for a study always has primary responsibility for his or her own activities and must ensure that good research practice, current legislation, and established procedures are followed.

Data controller

For all projects or studies carried out at SLU, a data controller must be appointed and named in the data management plan. In most cases, it is appropriate for the project’s Project Manager (PI) or equivalent to be the data controller.

The data controller shall ensure good and appropriate management of data in accordance with the principles of this policy, and assure that agreements regarding responsibility and data management are drawn up where necessary. Should the data controller leave SLU or is unable to fulfil his/her duties for any other reason, formal responsibility is transferred to the head of the department where the project is based, unless another person is appointed.

Heads of department or equivalent

Assume overall responsibility that data management at the respective department complies with the principles of this policy. Furthermore, they assume overall responsibility, as information owner, that information, including research as well as environmental monitoring and assessment data, is protected, classified and risk assessed according to information security guidelines.


As the governing body for research as well as environmental monitoring and assessment, SLU has the overall responsibility for ensuring that research and environmental monitoring and assessment data are managed lawfully, correctly and securely, and in accordance with good research practice. SLU shall continuously develop the necessary e-infrastructure and appropriate support functions for good data management.

Ownership, copyright and licences

The data producer has copyright to the research results published, for example in a scientific publication, but does not have ownership of the data on which the publication is based. If data is produced in a project with external partners, there must be an agreement regulating how the data may be used and made available.

Resources for data management

The policy states: Data management costs related to an externally funded project should be included in the project application to the funder. For assignments in environmental monitoring and assessment, the costs should be specified in an agreement with the client.

What is new?

Many of the requirements and recommendations in the policy are not new but come from laws and previous policies. One new requirement is that all research and environmental monitoring and assessment projects or programmes must establish a data management plan.

What data is covered by the requirements of the policy?

The policy applies to all types of digital data produced and/or processed within research and environmental monitoring and assessment at SLU.

Background to the policy