EfD’s goal is to establish a data management culture in the EfD network that enhances the quality, availability and effective use of research data. To reach this, we work in close collaboration with the Swedish National Data Service (SND) and the Gothenburg University Library in developing a Data Access Unit (DAU) to support EfD researchers in making their data available online.
Making research data available
We take our responsibility to contribute to the transparent use of public funding. That is why EfD commits to make our research data available to the public through SND’s online data repository. We do this by making data sharing mandatory for all EfD-funded research projects and collaborative programs.
By making data available to other researchers and students, EfD aims to increase the use value of research data. An important aspect of this is that all data receive a unique identifier (DOI), which contributes to valuing the researchers’ efforts by making their data citable.
Data management support
We want to support good research practices across the EfD network. Making data available makes research better verifiable and replicable, hence increasing the transparency of research done at EfD. Moreover, this contributes to preventing loss of data and duplication of efforts.
To directly support the researchers in the EfD network, we have experienced data management staff working at EfD Ethiopia as part of our Data Access Unit. They have extensive experience in working with the management of environmental economics data, including survey and database management. More recently, they are trained by SND in Gothenburg on data curation in SND’s data repository to provide EfD researchers the best support possible.
The data management support at EfD’s DAU is available for questions and support regarding managing and publishing your data. More information about data management support and how to contact the DAU can be found below under 'Contact the DAU-team'.
Read below more on EfD's data management initiative:
- Managing your research data
- Data sharing at EfD
- Contact the DAU-team
- Partner organizations
- Legal aspects
- Information, tools and resources
Data management is a method to handle, structure and store research data throughout the research process (SND, 2018). The aim of good research management practices is to ensure the quality, reliability and transparency of the data and research results. Preserving research data in a structured and well-documented way will make sure the data can be duplicated and validated and improve its usability for new research.
Good data management practices benefit the efficiency and accuracy of the research process, hence improving both the quality of your work as well as your reputation due to increased transparency.
Moreover, preserving and storing your data in a secure and reliable repository will help you in fulfilling requirements from journals and donors. More and more top journals in Economics have implemented a data availability policy (see more in ‘Information, tools and resources’). On top of that, preserving your data will facilitate future use of your data, both by yourself as well as by other users.
Standards and guidelines
EfD’s data management project is based on the principles of FAIR data: This implies that data should be Findable, Accessible, Inter-operable between different systems, and Re-usable by other users, such as researchers, students, and practitioners.
To ensure this, we align our work with international standards. For example, we use the DDI standard for the description of metadata, and we work with SND, who is a well-trusted and certified data repository. This all ensures compatibility with international standards as well as guarantee long-term and secure storage and preservation of your data.
Data management plan
EfD promotes the use of a data management plan (DMP) among the researchers in the EfD network. Researchers are expected to submit a DMP as part of the requirements the proposal submission for EfD funding. The DMP used by EfD for proposal evaluation and to monitor the funded data. The template for DMP preparation can be accessed here, and any technical assistance regarding DMP can requested from the DAU.
One of EfD’s requirement for project funding is that the research data that is collected during the project will be made available online after three years. We have established a Data Access Unit at SND to facilitate this requirement and make data sharing for our researchers as easy as possible, while keeping up with international data standards. Data will be made available in SNDs database.
After you submit your data to us via SND’s online deposition form, the data manager at our Data Access Unit will check all data and documentation. It is important that all data is labeled and accompanied by the survey questions. The data manager will look at the metadata and data description and make sure it is according to international standards. After the data curation process, the data will be sent to SND, who will ensure storage and accessibility of the research data.
EfD will sign a data deposition agreement on the researcher’s behalf. More information about this can be found in the section ‘Legal matters’.
When will data be made available?
Your data won’t be made available right away. For EfD-funded research, we have an embargo time until 36 months after data collection is finished. Your data won’t be available before the end of this embargo. After the embargo data, the data is freely downloadable by any user who registers at SND and fills in a data request form.
Of course, there can be good reasons why the accessibility of some data should be restricted or the embargo date should be extended. For example in the case of sensitive data or if you are working on collecting data in multiple time rounds. When you use secondary data in your research, the data enclosure regulations of your data provider will apply. If this is restricted, EfD’s requirements won’t apply.
EfD’s Data Access Unit has a team available to answer your questions and support you in managing your research data and making it available to others. The DAU currently consists of Samuel Abera, EfD’s data manager, and Marleen Poot, Gothenburg University Library.
Samuel Abera is Data Manager at EfD Ethiopia. He handles incoming data at EfD’s Data Access Unit and is responsible for the final data submission to SND. You can contact Samuel for any questions regarding how to submit data to SND, data standards, data anonymization, and more.
Since 1 February 2019, Marleen Poot works for the research support team at the Gothenburg University Library. As part of this new position, Marleen will continue to coordinate EfD’s data management project. You can contact Marleen for any questions related to EfD’s data policy and specific requirements and regulations regarding research data for EfD funded research.
The DAU can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any questions regarding research data, data management, or for feedback and suggestions on how to improve our services, don’t hesitate to contact us!
The Swedish National Data Service (SND)
EfD works closely together with partner organization SND, the Swedish National Data Service. SND is rolling out Data Access Units (DAU) at all 27 Swedish universities, among which Gothenburg University.
SND is a national resource that facilitates access to new and existing Swedish research data within and outside of Sweden. SND also provides support to researchers in Sweden throughout the process of data management. SND’s primary role is to support the accessibility, preservation, and re-use of data and related materials. They accept research data and data descriptions from researchers in Sweden and internationally and ensure that data are stored securely in a way that allows them to be used in the future (SND, 2018).
Click here for the English web version of SND’s homepage. SND provides the following services on their website:
- Access to research data from Swedish universities and abroad;
- Data deposition via their online form;
- Information about data management, such as best data management practices, data management plans, and data standards.
GDPR and personal data
Because EfD is a part of the University of Gothenburg, we have to comply with the European Law ‘GDPR’ on handing personal information. In practice, this implies that EfD will not make any data containing personal data available. The same is true for SND. This means that all data to be submitted should be carefully anonymized first. After data is submitted to the Data Access Unit, it will be thoroughly checked if all personal information is removed.
The UK Data Service explains that even personal and sensitive data can be shared if researchers apply good research practices. This includes informed consent, anonymization of the data and controlling the access to data.
To ensure that data does not include any information that could lead to identifying any living person, EfD recommends the use of the Arx anonymization tool. More information about data anonymization can also be found under ‘Information, tools and resources’.
Property rights of EfD funded research data
The researchers involved in the production of intellectual property own all data and analyses funded by EfD and can use it for any academic purpose with the following amendments […]:
For data collection that is fully or partly funded by EfD: Two years after completion of the data collection the data and all necessary documentation should be made available to the EfD network through the EfD Secretariat. Not more than three years after data collection is completed the data should be made available to the public. The EfD Secretariat can decide when data collection is completed after consultation with the researchers.
Data management guidelines and standards:
- EfD’s guidelines for publishing data at SND
- EfD’s anonymization guideline
- EfD’s data management plan
- Metadata standards of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)
- Data anonymization in the context of GDPR
The following organizations provide plenty of resources and information on their websites on managing research data:
Useful data management tools (all free):
Data policies of Economics journals:
The following Economics journals require public access to your research data before taking your article into consideration. Follow the links to learn more about their policies:
- PLOS ONE
- America Economic Review (AER)
- Journal of Labor Economics (JOLE)
- Journal of the European Economic Association (JEEA)
Moreover, there is the possibility of publishing your data as a data article in 'Data in Brief'. Elsevier provides additional information on how to publish a data article in co-submission with a regular journal article.
External data repositories where you can access high-quality research data:
- African Development Bank (AfDB) statistical data portal – Open data for Africa
- FAOSTAT - Access to food and agriculture data from over 245 countries from 1961 onwards.
- Knoema – Startup that provides access to over 500 databases, online data visualization tools
- World Bank Open Data – includes an extensive database as well as their ‘DataBank’, a data visualization and analysis tool.