Project Research Data - The Digitalisation Programme

This page is about the project Research Data (2021-25). The project aims to ensure that researchers and students at NTNU have the necessary tools, services, and e-infrastructure to manage data in research projects; from collection, storage, analysis, and processing, to archiving, deletion or publishing. This infrastructure should enable responsible, reproducible, FAIR and open research of high quality.

What do you need to ensure an efficient data flow in your research project? Get in touch with project leader Ingrid Heggland.

Norwegian version - Prosjekt Forskningsdata - Digitaliseringsprogram

Topic page about Research Data | Pages with tag research data

Contact Research Data @NTNU in the NTNU Hjelp portal if you need help or advice related to research data in your project.

New sub-projects, March 2024: Internal research protocol and Research Catalogue - documentation of artistic research.

Safe and secure handling of research data

The project deals with safe and secure handling of research data, from collection, storage, analysis and processing, to archiving, deletion or publication. In 2023, the project will work with:

  • Tools for digital interviews with confidential data
  • Infrastructure for confidential data
  • GDPR in student projects
  • Competency network and infrastructure for research data
  • Git - tool for version control
  • Transcribing with Whisper
  • Electronic lab notebook

Tool for digital interviews with confidential data

The subproject will deliver a tool for recording digital interviews with confidential, also called red, data and establish a method for secure processing of such recordings in research and student projects.

Researchers and students at NTNU conduct interviews and conversations with people, and in many cases these will be recorded, with sound and/or video. These are then often transcribed, and then further analysis and quality assurance is conducted. Traditionally this has been done using recording equipment as dictaphones or cameras in physical meetings. The COVID pandemic has shown that it is also possible conduct such conversation digitally, while in some cases it is necessary with physical interviews and conversations.

As of today NTNU does not have suitable tools to comply with the strict requirements for protection of confidential data, and therefore the subproject will deliver a tool that makes it possible to conduct interviews and store recordings in a safe and secure manner. The aim is to have a first solution for conducting confidential digital interviews with in place by summer 2022.

The manager of the subproject is Dag Overrein, IT Division.

Infrastructure for confidential data

The aim of the subproject is to ensure that students and employees at NTNU have the necessary technical infrastructure and digital tools for responsible and secure processing of confidential data in research.

Research data in all confidentiality classes are processed at NTNU; Public, Internal, Confidential and Highly confidential. A sizeable portion of research projects process data that is classified as confidential. Examples of such data can be patient data, registry data or other types of personal data. Also considerations related to security, export control or trade secrets can be reasons to ensure data and other information in research projects are kept confidential.

Storage and processing of confidential data entail strict requirements to information security. NTNU offers several different IT tools to process confidential research data, but these do not fully cover the diverse needs in the various research fields and projects. Therefore, the subproject will ensure that students and employees have access to such tools for secure, safe and responsible processing of their research data.

The manager of the subproject is Hans Jørgen Eck, IT Division.

Competence centre and infrastructure for research data - development of Research Data @NTNU

This subproject is more long term and comprehensive, with an overarching view on infrastructure and support services related to research data. The aim is a portfolio of tools and services that function as “building blocks”, with a focus on interoperability and data flows, enabling efficient processing with the inclusion of documentation and metadata in the different phases of research projects.

The infrastructure must also ensure information security and contribute to best practice in management of research data and other results from research activities at NTNU. The aim is to build competencies and expertise at NTNU to be able to provide guidance and support services for researchers and students in the various disciplines at NTNU. The central support service should also contribute to best practice in Open Science, data management and reproducible, responsible research. In addition to basic guidance, training and standardized tools, services will be offered providing a certain level of adjustments and customization of infrastructure and tools.

This subproject will also be the origin of new subprojects, as needs and requirements are identified and described. Examples include software for Electronic Lab Notebooks, a common tool for Git, and being able to offer an assortment of solutions for storage and archiving of research data.

The manager of the subproject is Svein Høier, the University Library.

GDPR in student projects

Students should have access to tools, services and information that make it easy to fulfill GDPR and information security requirements in student projects.

Many student projects at NTNU (at bachelor and master level) process personal data. There is a high throughput of students with little concrete research experience, and students also face equipment challenges as they in most cases only have private equipment available (PC, mobile phone). This entails an increased risk in terms of information security, and according to NTNU's guidelines, it is not allowed to process personal data on private equipment.

The subproject will have two main deliverables. One is the development of a course for GDPR in research that can be integrated into the study programs. The second delivery will consist of practical routines for the use of infrastructure and tools for processing personal data in student projects.

In the fall of 2023, routines were developed that are useful for students and others who need to use private IT equipment in their research projects, including examples of data flows for research data with personal data. During the fall of 2024, the subproject will deliver a course program for privacy in research that can be used by teachers at NTNU.

The manager of the subproject is Ane Møller Gabrielsen, the University Library.

Git - Tool for version control

Students, developers and researchers will have a common tool to store, share and collaborate on source code and code history.

GitHub will be introduced as a common Git solution at NTNU. This is a tool that allows you to upload and collaborate on source code and other types of files, and gives you a visual overview of all changes and contributions made. The subproject will facilitate the use of the tool through easy self-administration and good user support.

The introduction has been delayed due to challenges with clarification of licenses and operating solution (cloud solution versus in-house operation). The goal is introduction at NTNU during Spring 2024.

The manager of the subproject is Dag Overrein, IT Division.

Transcribing with Whisper

Students and researchers will have access to an automatic transcription/speech recognition service.

Manually transcribing interviews is a time-consuming and costly task. An automatic transcription service would be a great help for staff and students. Whisper is a general language model that can recognize speech from audio and video files, both Norwegian and English. Whisper is developed by OpenAI, and the source code is shared under an open license so that it is possible for others to use it. The subproject aims to deliver a time-saving service for automatic transcription/speech recognition internally at NTNU.

The service Speech-to-text was delivered in a test version in June 2023 for students and staff at NTNU. The service will be rolled out in January 2024.

The manager of the subproject is Olav Daling Stornes, IT Division.

Electronic lab notebook

Researchers will have access to new tools for electronic lab notebooks.

The Electronic lab notebook subproject aims to replace the traditional paper-based lab notebook with a new digital solution with extended functionality (Electronic Lab Notebook - ELN).

The ELN solution will be offered broadly and for the entire organization, but will be a particularly important tool for those research environments where laboratory experiments are at the core of the research process. Examples of new and desired functionality will be searchability, better possibilities for compilation of experiments, co-writing, access control, version control, addition of metadata, efficient use of protocols, etc.

The subproject will deliver tools, guidelines and training for electronic lab journals (ELN) to all departments at NTNU, and will ensure that as many people as possible use the tool. In 2023, the subproject piloted a selection of tools and prepared a requirements specification that will be used for procurement early in 2024.

The manager of the subproject is Svein Høier, the University Library.

Internal research protocol

The subproject is a pilot project for the internal registration and evaluation of a limited number of research projects that would otherwise have been automatically evaluated by Sikt.

(More info to come)

The manager of the subproject is Ane Møller Gabrielsen, the University Library.

Research Catalogue

Students and staff will have access to and be trained in a common solution for documenting and sharing artistic research and activities.

Research Catalogue (RC) is a multimedia platform for publishing and sharing artistic results as well as documenting artistic processes. The sub-project is about adapting and developing NTNU's institutional portal in RC to the needs of the relevant academic communities, as well as ensuring the necessary piloting and training of internal users.

The subproject will have four main deliverables: risk assessment, development of the portal, preparation of routines and guidelines, and training of internal users.

The manager of the subproject is Anja Johansen, the University Library.

Completed sub-projects

Competence network and tools for GDPR in research

Students and employees should have access to tools, services and information that make it easy to fulfill privacy and information security requirements in research projects.

The subproject contributed to the implementation of NTNU's guidelines through competence building, development of courses and templates, clarification of roles and responsibilities and culture building.

Deliverables from the project:

Project mandate

Overarching project mandate (Norwegian). The project started in May 2021 and is planned until 2025.

Mandates have been approved by the project steering group.

Project organization

Project owner

The project owner is Pro-Rector for Research and Dissemination, Tor Grande.

Steering group, Research Data Project


Contact project leader Ingrid Heggland.

Contact Research Data @NTNU through NTNU Hjelp if you need advice or help with research data in your project.