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Research documentation at KI

All research at KI should be documented. The research documentation should reflect the process from idea to results.

Research documentation - what and why?

Research documentation is a representation of research activities.

Because KI is responsible for all research conducted at the university, the institution expects you as a researcher to document your work. Research documentation at KI should be done in such a way that it is possible for co-workers and external peers to follow and review the research.

KI owns all documentation and data you create at the university. As a public authority, KI is subject to the Freedom of Press Act and to the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act. However, in Sweden you as an academic researcher have the copyrights to the research and education materials you create, as well as the ownership of your patentable inventions (the so called "Professor’s privilege" or sv. "Lärarundantaget"). This means that you, under normal circumstances, decides over your research documentation and data.

Besides your obligations to KI, a number of reasons motivate research documentation:

  • Research ethics. Keeping your research organized through documentation is one of the basic principles of research ethics. Further, proper documentation is key to being able to account for the research process (Swedish Research Council, 2017).
  • Cooperation. Documentation is vital to avoid unnecessary duplication of research activities and to enhance cooperation between peers.
  • Traceability and reproducibility. For reviewing and troubleshooting data collection and analysis, documentation is pivotal. The same goes for reproduction of research results. Documentation about data ("paradata") is essential to verify or falsify results.
  • Intellectual property and patent. Documentation of intellectual work is a prerequisite for patent applications.
  • Accusations of research misconduct and fraud. In case of an allegation of research misconduct or fraud it is pivotal to be able to show documentation of what has been done, by whom, and when.
  • Legacy. Archived research documentation is part of KI's legacy and a resource for historians and scholars of science.

What to document?

Research documentation should cover the intellectual and practical sides of research, as well as refer to the administrative documents pertaining to the research.

To cover the intellectual and practical aspects of research it is advisable to document:

  • Background and aim
  • Collection of material or data (including information about e.g. questionnaires, protocols, case report forms)
  • Processing and analyses of material or data
  • Results
  • Minutes from project meetings and/or collaborations
  • Correspondance of principal importance
  • Reports and publications

To clarify the administrative circumstances we recommend that references are made to:

  • Project plan, including information about funding and financial reporting
  • Applications, approvals, and amendments (e.g. ethical approvals, consent forms)
  • Contracts and agreements 
  • A plan for Research Data Management (a "DMP") and information about archiving

Electronic research documentation

From January 1st, 2019 it is mandatory for you as a KI researcher to document your research electronically in by KI approved systems, such as KI ELN.

After January 1st, 2019 there is no need for retroactive electronic documentation.

For doctoral students, electronic research documentation was mandatory already from August 1st, 2018.

All students with a KI student id can access KI ELN to electronically document research assignments, e.g. master thesis research.

Research documentation training

  • There is a web based course in Ping Pong, "Research documentation and handling of research data", open to all KI researchers. The course is mandatory for all new PhD-students.
  • To schedule a research documentation training session for your department or research group, contact rdo@ki.s


If you have questions regarding research data management please contact