Mandatory - Electronic research documentation

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Electronic documentation increases traceability, transparency and information security in research documentation.

Mandatory - what does it mean?

From January 1st 2019, it will be mandatory for KI researchers to document their research electronically in KI approved systems, such as KI ELN. The decision has been taken by the vice chancellor on June 20th 2017, after discussions by the Board of Research and in the group for all Heads of Departments (Prefektgruppen).

For doctoral students electronic research documentation will be mandatory already from August 1st 2018, according to a decision by the Board of Doctoral Education (Styrelsen för forskarutbildning). When using KI ELN, it is the research group leader or supervisor who invites the doctoral student to an ELN group.

The early mandate for doctoral students applies to all new projects, for example new Ph.D. projects and new sub-studies within ongoing Ph.D. projects. For projects and studies started before August 1st 2018, each research group decides if and how the documentation should be migrated into an electronic system. The general rule is that all research activities, including projects and studies started prior to 2019, should be documented electronically from January 1st 2019.

What should be documented?

Research at KI should be documented in accordance with legislation and institutional guidelines.

Why electronic research documentation?

  • Research documentation and results become searchable
  • Electronic documentation systems can be used to enhance dialouge between researchers, as well as between supervisors and doctoral students
  • Electronic documentation systems kan be used to make routine documentation more efficient
  • Access to documentation is set at an individual basis which improves information security
  • The electronic documentation is backed up automatically
  • Electronic documentation can help researchers to meet increasing demands on transperency from funders and journals
  • Electronic documentation curbs risks for research misconduct and fraud

What happens to the paper lab books?

The official KI paper lab books will no longer be manufactured and sold. In cases where paper documentation is necessary (e.g. in certain wet lab environments) it is recommended to transfer scanned copies or photos of the paper documentation into the electronic notebook.

KI ELN can be used for preparing templates (e.g. SOPs, protocols) to print for use in lab. 

Is it only KI ELN that can be used?

No. In the decision, it is mandatory with electronic research documentation as such. If a department or research group can show that another system meets centrally-defined requirements, it can be used. The advantage with KI ELN is that it is pre-approved.

What happens now?

Throughout 2018, all departments will be offered assistance with the transition to electronic documentation, such as demonstrations of KI ELN and workshops where documentation and data storage are discussed. To schedule an ELN demo, contact elnkoordinator@ki.se

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