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Easier access to Norway’s registry data

New infrastructure will provide Norwegian and international researchers with simpler, faster and better access to Norway’s registry data.

The Research Council of Norway has allocated NOK 35 million for developing the Remote Access Infrastructure for Register Data (RAIRD). First and foremost, the new infrastructure is designed to support social science research, but it will also be suitable for other research fields that utilise registry data, such as environmental science, cultural studies, and medical and health research.

(Photo: Shutterstock) (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) and Statistics Norway will develop the RAIRD infrastructure. The new system will be available to all researchers and research institutions.

Exceptional access

“Norwegian registry data is in a class of its own in the international context,” asserts Bjørn Henrichsen, Executive Director of NSD. “Researchers will gain better, faster access to the various registries,” says Bjørn Henrichsen. Photo: NSD/Bjarne Øymyr “Researchers will gain better, faster access to the various registries,” says Bjørn Henrichsen. (Photo: NSD/Bjarne Øymyr) “The potential for research is tremendous, but up to now there have been significant challenges related to accessing the data.”

“Current procedures for access to registry data are time-consuming and resource-intensive, mainly because the data involved are highly sensitive, and there are different registry owners,” explains Dr Henrichsen. “Now researchers will gain faster access to the various registries and be able to search for data from their own PCs.”

Dr Henrichsen stresses that the new RAIRD infrastructure will safeguard the privacy of the individual.

More international research cooperation

RAIRD will be at the global forefront in terms of the technology, organisation, administration and dissemination of research data. The system will make it easier for international researchers to make use of Norway’s valuable registry data, and will thus help to expand international research collaboration.

“The new system is entirely unique,” says Dr Henrichsen. “It marks an innovation for empirical research activity across a broad range of societal challenges and will greatly enhance the knowledge base for decision-making in a number of key areas.”

NSD in Bergen will be responsible for project management. Photo: NSD/Bjarne Øymyr NSD in Bergen will be responsible for project management. (Photo: NSD/Bjarne Øymyr) Headed by NSD

NSD and Statistics Norway will operate the new infrastructure jointly. NSD will be responsible for project management.
Together, NSD and Statistics Norway either own or administer most of the registry-based administrative data as well as other large databases on social conditions in Norway.

The RAIRD infrastructure is one of the eleven national infrastructure projects that received funding from the Research Council in October this year. The total amount of funding was NOK 400 million.

Written by:
Siv Haugan/Else Lie. Translation: Darren McKellep/Carol B. Eckmann
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