The University has established an Advisory Board for Research Infrastructure. The Advisory Board’s mandate was clarified in February 2018 to include providing advice to the Vice-Chancellor and preparatory bodies on University-wide research infrastructure matters, including issues related to the storage of and access to research data. The Advisory Board is currently working on research data issues with the support of the new Research Support Division.

Researchers at Uppsala University produce nearly all research data in digital form. The University’s research data is produced, managed and used locally, nationally and internationally, and needs vary among research disciplines. Storage and management have thus far normally been dealt with in various ways within the University locally, or through discipline-specific national or international solutions.

Research funding bodies and other stakeholders are imposing increasingly rigorous standards for managing and ensuring access to research data. If there is no effective system for managing research data and making it available, it will be difficult to publish many types of research. Furthermore, as a government authority the University is subject to requirements regarding research data, including public access to information and archiving. The University has also made commitments within the framework of national and international partnerships that must be met.

A complete system for managing and ensuring access to research data depends on researchers having access to data repositories, service functions for storing data that are adapted to the needs of the various disciplines, to sharing requirements and to the requirements to which the University is subject as a government authority. There is an obvious need for the University to offer its own data storage systems, but also to identify external systems whose use may be appropriate and, in addition, to specify requirements for the use of other systems. The University possesses established expertise in the data storage field, which is now being drawn on to create and maintain a cohesive set of a few local data storage functions.

A basic central research data storage service, Allvis, has been developed in accordance with a decision by the Vice-Chancellor in 2016 (ref. no 2012/1735). Allvis is financed by central funding and will be deployed this year. It will offer all researchers at the University basic storage for a limited quantity of data. After the system has been deployed, all researchers at the University will gradually be given access to Allvis.

A website for research data that will work as a portal for researchers is also being developed. The first elements of the site are links to the government authority standards that apply to research data and a directory of available internal and external storage functions.

In the future, local and external services that can be offered to cover special needs, such as for sensitive data and very large datasets, will be identified. The University’s requirements for managing research data in internal and external systems will be specified.

The allocation of responsibility and the organisational changes required to ensure that the long-term management of research data by the University delivers high quality will be defined. A strategy will also be prepared for providing the support that University researchers need to use the data management system in a way that meets the new standards.

Johan Dixelius