What is research data?

Research data is a complicated concept. When data management and open access to data are discussed, the term "research data" means digital data that has been collected or produced for scientific purposes.

There is no cohesive definition of research data. Rather, the definition varies between different scientific fields and research funders. Often "research data" is taken to mean the data that has been collected or created to be analysed for scientific purposes, and data that is needed to support or validate results from a research project. This includes data such as text, interviews, statistics, survey replies, pictures, videos, maps etc.

Horizon 2020 defines research data as follows: Refers to information, in particular facts or numbers, collected to be examined and considered as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation. In a research context, examples of data include statistics, results of experiments, measurements, observations resulting from fieldwork, survey results, interview recordings and images. The focus is on research data that is available in digital form (see page 4 in the linked document).

As the University of Borås is a public authority, the principle of public access to official documents applies. This means that public documents can be requested from the University. Research data is regarded as official documents, and should therefore be made accessible on request as long as they are not covered by the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act.