Research documentation as official documents
Responsibility for archiving must be regulated in an agreement during the initial phase of the research.
Responsibility for archiving must be regulated in an agreement during the initial phase of the research. Irrespective of the type of research being undertaken and who it is being funded by, research documents within the public sector are classed as official documents.
Research documentation is official and thus subject to the rules on public access that apply to official documents. This is the case whether it is held by a Higher Education institution or the entity responsible for the research is a region. Whether the information is official or not is determined by whether it is stored by the authority and can be regarded as having been received or prepared by the authority.
For more information on what applies generally, see the section on Official documents (Allmän handling).
Registration and record keeping in research projects
The research project should be logged as an item in the register as soon as official documents/information start being produced. The body responsible for record keeping must as a minimum register the necessary statutory information and certain key information:
- the name of the research project
- the designated project manager (with responsibility for documentation)
- documentation relating to milestones, i.e. documents that are important for showing how the project has progressed.
Any information that is to be retained but not registered should be archived, either in a project file together with the registered documentation or in its own informational unit in the archive.
For more information on what applies generally, see the section on Register management (Ärendehantering).
Disclosure of research documentation
The entity responsible for the research is responsible for undertaking a confidentiality assessment and ensuring that requests for disclosure are dealt with promptly.
For more information on what applies generally, see the section on Disclosure of official documents (Utlämnande av allmän handling).
Official documents/information can only be treated as confidential where they meet the relevant criteria in the Swedish Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act. If Region Stockholm is a partner in research activity with a private individual or a private company that requires a particular type of confidentiality, the parties cannot agree provisions on confidentiality over and above what is contained in the Secrecy Act.
The Swedish Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act governs confidentiality in respect of research documentation. See in particular Chapter 11, paragraph 3 and Chapter 24; also Chapter 31, paragraphs 12 and 13.
Examples of research documentation that may be confidential include:
- documents that have been marked as classified by the sender before they arrive
- information on an individual’s state of health or other personal circumstances that has come from health and social care services
- information about an individual’s personal circumstances held by a welfare officer, study advisor or psychologist
- personal data in statistics or research
- documentation from commissioned research
For more information on what applies generally, see the section on Public access and confidentiality (Offentlighet och sekretess).
When should documentation be disposed of?
Official documents must not be disposed of unless provided for in law or a decision has been made by an authority. No individual employee can make a decision on disposal. Such decisions must always be taken at authority level and in consultation with the Regional Archive.
A general retention and disposal plan Pdf, 399.3 kB. is in place for documentation and information arising from research activity. It contains rules to be followed on retention and disposal in relation to research activity.
If archival responsibility lies with Region Stockholm, the project will have been run in accordance with the model for projects used by Region Stockholm. Region Stockholm’s model stipulates that documentation marked ‘Dispose of at end of project’ in the retention and disposal plan must be disposed of at the end of the project.
For more information on what applies generally, see the section on Disposal (Gallring).