SLU news

SLU's new data management policy a step on the way to open science

Published: 08 November 2022

The new policy states that data from SLU's research and environmental monitoring and assessment must be made available as openly as possible. The policy should also help SLU's employees to handle data according to good research practice and to comply with legislation regarding data from research and environmental analysis.

At the vice-chancellor's decision meeting on 21 September, the Policy on the management of and open access to research and environmental monitoring and assessment data at SLU was adopted. The background for introducing a new policy is, among other things, SLU's goal that scientific results and data are disseminated and used in society, as well as national goals that state that research data should be openly available when possible.

– Digitalisation, open science and open data are part of SLU's strategy for 2021–2025. The introduction of a data management policy is an important part of that work and in SLU's move towards open science, says Linda Vidlund, chief librarian at the SLU library.

According to the new policy, data from research and environmental analysis at SLU must be as openly available as possible, with as few restrictions as possible. The requirement applies from the time that the policy was adopted, and thus not retroactively for data collected before September 2022.

SLU supports the FAIR principles

The policy also announces that SLU endorses the FAIR principles, which means that data must be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.

The policy is to support SLU employees

The policy describes principles for good data management at SLU, including data management plans, storage, information security, data sharing and archiving. Most of the requirements in the policy are not new but originate from laws and policies already in force. The data management policy is intended to provide guidance for employees who handle data from research and environmental monitoring and assessment by clarifying how they must act to comply with Swedish legislation and requirements from financiers.

Data management plans mandatory

A new requirement in the policy is that all new projects in research and environmental monitoring assessment must write a data management plan. SLU offers both support and tools for employees who write data management plans.


The policy specifies the responsibilities that e.g. project managers and heads of departments have, but it also states that SLU is responsible for developing the necessary e-infrastructure and suitable support functions for good data management, as well as offering training and advice in matters of data handling, documentation, storage, archiving and sharing.

Data Management Support at the SLU University Library provides support to everyone at SLU in matters related to the management of data from research and environmental monitoring and assessment, including publication, storage, and data management plans. In addition, the vice-chancellor earlier this year established a development program which aims to create physical, organizational, and cultural conditions for SLU's scientific data to be assessed and shared according to the FAIR principles.

Read the policy

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