The data explosion – a huge challenge and a gigantic opportunity


  • Margaret Louise Fotland
  • Live Håndlykken Kvale University of Oslo Library



In order to meet requirements from research funders, the Director at the University of Oslo requested a working group to map existing use of sharing and storing services for research data and needs for the future. Based on the findings the group made following four focus areas for future work:

  1. We need to see the entire data management cycle in context; from research data generated, retrieved and reused by others.
  2. We must think globally and not nationally. The solutions we create must meet the needs of researchers in other countries.
  3. We cannot solve all the problems at the University, but we must ensure that the issues be addressed through collaboration with other national players.
  4. We must always aim to develop systems that allow individual researchers see greater benefits than disadvantages to archive and share their own research data, and leveraging existing research data. A system founded on more regulations and audit follow-up is unlikely to work.

We will present the process and the involvement of different stakeholders in the research support services at UiO: Center for Information Technology Services, Department of Academic Administration and the University Library. The involvement of different stakeholders proved to be valuable in order to focus on different aspects of the topic, including technical, administrational and retrieval as key focus areas of the different participants. As leader of the group Dean of Research of the Mathematical and natural science faulty, Svein Stølen has involved both Ministry of Knowledge and The Norwegian Research Council to get feedback at an early stage. Several of the issues would preferably be solved at a national level such as:

  • National archives for research data
  • Identifiers
  • Privacy
  • Copyright
  • Retrieval
  • Reward

A draft for a policy on research data sharing is included in the report part of the report. The aim is to get an approval by the University Board to make it mandatory:

  1. To write a data management plan
  2. Share research data
  3. Create metadata for both retrieval and understanding of the data shared.

Further it is proposed to establish a pilot for research data management support focusing on the following areas:

  • Data management for project leaders
  • Modules as part of the courses delivered by the University library in discovery and citing of research data
  • Coursing internally and externally for enhancement of skills of instructors on different levels.

Author Biography

Live Håndlykken Kvale, University of Oslo Library

Science Library