Policy for open access to research data

A policy for open access to research data shall contribute to increased accessibility to research data and good research conduct, as well as promote good research data management at KI. Increased availability to research data improves the quality of research, increases impact, decreases doubel work, prevents research misconduct and promotes innovation. Open access to research data also facilitates review and verification of research results.

  • Diary number: 1-84/2024
  • Decision date:
  • Validity period: Until further notice
  • Decision: Committee for Research
  • Document type: Policy
  • Handled by department/unit: CDO
  • Preparation with: Research Data Office, Working group for open science, academic vice presidents, deans, head of departments and research group leaders.

Summary of the policy

Karolinska Institutet (KI) shall actively contribute to open access to research data, in line with the national goals for an open research system. 

The underlying principle is that  access to research data should be as open as possible, and as limited as necesssary. 

The KI Guidelines for research documentation and data management are linked to this policy.

General principles for open access to research data

Making research data accessible

KI strives for all research results and research data to be openly accessible and published accessibly on the  internet according to the FAIR-principles. If research data can not be freely acessible[1], one should strive to make metadata freely accessible and to give access to research data upon request after examination of the request.. KI works to avoid exclusive transfer to comercial publishers of publication copyrights and reuse of research results and for research data to not be made available through publichers’ pay services for access to research data.

FAIR-principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable)[2]

It is important that research data, including  metadata, are FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). KI supports the FAIR-principles upon data management and accessibility to research data, as well as  when infrastructure and support for research data is developed. 


KI works to ensure that open access to research data is valued as a scientific contribution and supports development of methods for evaluation of scientific quality that take into account open access to research data.


The ultimately responsible for research data management is the president at the university-wide level and the head of department at the departmental level, however this does not remove the responsibility of the individual researcher. 


[1] For example, secrecy may apply due to different reasons like handling of sensitive personal data or comercial interests.

[2] Wilkinson, Mark D., Michel Dumontier, IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, Gabrielle Appleton, Myles Axton, Arie Baak, Niklas Blomberg, et al. “The FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship.” Scientific Data 3, no. 1 (December 2016): 160018. https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18.

Policy in full