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What happens to data?

Technical control

Upon receipt, the data and documentation are checked for damaging software and for readability.

Control of anonymity

A distinction is made between anonymous and personal data. This is checked manually.


The data set is then registered. Each project is assigned a unique four-digit identification number (NSD number). This number serves as an identifier across all of NSD's systems.


Anonymous data are stored together with the pertaining documentation under the project's NSD number. Personal identification and connection keys are stored separately.


In order to ease the reuse of the data, NSD documents all data sets in Nesstar Publisher down to the variable level: questions are registered (as a basis for search systems) and references to any publications are added. The documentation is based on the archiving forms, questionnaires and any reports/summaries received from the data owner. The documented data set is then stored as a new documentation version.

Version control

When a data set is changed, e.g. in connection with documentation, the data set is stored as a new file. All changes are logged in NSD's version control system. Here, a distinction is made between different variants of a data set (changes of data) and different versions (changes in documentation). The original data set, as it was deposited by the researcher/producer, will therefore always be available, even if new versions or variants are created.


Once the data set has been checked, registered, responsibly stored and the documentation is completed, it is published on NSD's website – with or without the data. You can search in published data here.


The researcher/producer decides how accessible the data shall be for reuse, but the goal is to make as much data as possible accessible for further research. The Research Council of Norway currently makes requirements of archiving and sharing of data material. The main goal is that publicly funded research shall be freely accessible.

Data sets that are published with data on NSD's website are freely available for downloading by users. Data sets that are published without data are made accessible on application to NSD and, in some cases, following the consent of the researcher/producer. Separate rules apply to loans of personal data.

NSD's procedures for storage of data are described in the document Information Security and Data Maintenance.


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