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Project data: Publication, access and information security

The Research Council follows clear guidelines for dissemination and publication of project data, handling of requests for access and securing of sensitive data. These guidelines are based on Norwegian law.

Handling of information in connection with application processing
In order for a grant application to be processed, the relevant case officers, expert referees and decision-making bodies (for example, a programme board) must have full access to the grant application, including the project description. The Research Council limits the number of recipients of sensitive project information to the greatest extent possible.
Read more about information security.

Information about applications and projects on the Research Council website
Grant applications under processing
The Research Council publishes lists of applications currently under review on its website. These lists contain only the name of the Project Owner (institution/company) and the project title.

Approved projects
Selected information about projects awarded funding is published in the Research Council’s online Project Databank. This includes the name of the Project Owner (institution/company), name of the project manager, project title, amount of funding awarded, project duration, project summary and popular science presentation.

For projects that submit progress reports, an updated popular science presentation and all scholarly publications reported via the CRIStin Research Information System will be listed in the Project Databank entry as well.

Access to documents
According to Norwegian law, everyone has the right to request access to documents held by public authorities and public undertakings such as the Research Council. The main rule is that case documents, journals and similar registers of an administrative agency are public unless otherwise stipulated by statute or appurtenant regulations. 

The Research Council is required to exempt from public disclosure all information that is subject to duty of secrecy. This includes, for example, information about an individual’s personal affairs and trade secrets. In addition, the Research Council may exempt from public disclosure selected information about research ideas and research projects.

We will normally ask the applicant/Project Owner for assistance when processing a request for access to a document that may contain information that must be or may be exempted from public disclosure. It is up to the Research Council to take the final decision regarding whether to grant or refuse access to the information.

Statutory basis

Act relating to the right of access to documents held by public authorities and public undertakings (Freedom of Information Act)
Act relating to procedure in cases concerning the public administration (Public Administration Act)

Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 2, Section 3: Main rule 

Key exemption rules:

Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 3, Section 13; cf. Public Administration Act, Chapter 3, Section 13: Duty of secrecy:

  1. an individual's personal affairs, or
  2. technical devices and procedures, as well as operational or business matters which for competition reasons it is important to keep secret in the interests of the person whom the information concerns.

The Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 3, Section 26, Paragraph 4 provides the statutory basis for Research Council decisions to exempt from public disclosure information relating to research ideas and research projects, including preliminary research results, methods, funding sources, more detailed description of research approaches, etc.


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