NSD / Data protection services / Notification Form for personal data

Notification Form for personal data

On this page you will find useful information about NSD’s notification form. You can read about what personal data is, who should send in a notification form, and what you need to have ready in advance.

NSD’s notification form is a digital form that you as a researcher or student fill in when you are going to process personal data in a research project. We at NSD then carry out an assessment of the processing you have planned.

We help you find solutions that fit your project and ensure that the planned processing is in accordance with data protection legislation.

By filling out the notification form your institution will also have an overview of the processing, something it is legally required to have.

Who should send in a notification form?

If you are going to process personal data in a research project then you should notify this to NSD, given that your institution has an agreement with NSD. Check whether your institution has an agreement with NSD.

You must send in a notification form at least 30 days before data collection begins.

If you are only going to collect anonymous data, then the project should not be notified to NSD.

What is personal data?

Personal data is any data that can be linked to a person. Personal data can be, for example, national ID number, name or e-mail/IP address. A person’s voice on a sound recording is also personal data.

It is also possible that a combination of data can be linked to a person. For example, if exact age, place of residence and field of study is collected, and there is only one person who is 57 years of age from Geilo studying theatre science, then this is personal data.

The extent to which background information can make a person identifiable depends on the variables/registered data, but also on the context, topic and sample criteria.

Personal data is any data that can be linked to a person.

Note that if there is a scrambling key linking the data to a name/other identifier, then the data is considered personal data, even if the research group does not have access to the scrambling key.

What is processing?

Processing is any operation that is performed on personal data. Processing can be anything from:

  • Collecting and registering,
  • Arranging and analysing,
  • Transferring and storing,
  • To publishing and archiving

In essence, processing refers to everything you “do” with data.

The project must be notified if you will have personal data at any point during the project, even if the data will be anonymised in your thesis or publications.

Fill out the notification form

Are you ready to fill out the notification form? The form is dynamic and you can make changes after creating the form.

Start filling out the notificiation form

What must you have ready beforehand?

Before you fill out the notification form there are several things you should consider.

To save time and ensure that the project makes good choices, it is wise to have thought through a few things beforehand.

  1. Think through these questions: Who will be the focus of my research, who will be included in the sample, what methods should I use, what personal data do I need to achieve my research purpose?
  2. Create an information letter for your participants. Feel free to use NSD's template (word).
  3. Create an interview guide, questionnaire, list of variables, etc., based on what is relevant for your project.
  4. Consider whether you can take steps to minimize any disadvantage for participants when it comes to processing their personal data. An important principle is not to collect more data than you need, and to collect data in as secure a way as possible.
  5. Familiarise yourself with your institution’s information security guidelines, e.g. whether there are requirements for where data is stored, or which survey provider you should use.
  6. Examine whether you need approvals/permits from various bodies in order to carry out your project, e.g. from REC (the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics), the Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service, etc.

Useful tip! You can read help text in the notification form by holding your curser over the small question marks.

What happens after the form has been sent in?

One of our advisers will carry out an initial review of your form as soon as possible. If we have questions or comments, we will contact you in the message dialogue linked to the form.

Check your email for notifications about messages from NSD. Alerts are sent to the email address linked to your login/user account. The message dialogue is visible on My Page.

If you are asked to make changes to the form, remember to click on "Confirm Send in" when the changes have been made. We will then review your notification form again. The message dialogue can be used for questions and clarifications.

When your notification form has been assessed, the assessment is documentation that your project will process personal data in accordance with data protection legislation.

Notify changes to the project

You must notify any planned changes that will affect the processing of personal data in your project.

You notify changes by updating the notification form and clicking on “Confirm send in”. Send also a short summary of the changes in the message dialogue. Wait for a new assessment before carrying out the changes.

Sharing the notification form

It is possible to share the notification form with other persons linked to the project. For students it is obligatory to share the form with the supervisor/project leader.

To share the notification form you:

  • Click on "Share Project" at the top of the form
  • Choose "Invite user" and fill in the person’s e-mail address
  • Choose which type of access the person will have. “Can manage” gives full access and the ability to share the form with others.

The receiver must click on the invite link and log in to get access.

Note that you share access to the notification form by sharing the entire project (also the message dialogue, and other contents linked to the project). However, it is only the person that creates the notification form who can write in the message dialogue and receive email alerts about new messages.

Make a copy of NSD’s assessment

To print out or save a copy of NSD’s assessment, click on the "Assessment" button at the top of the form.You then choose “Print” in the top right-hand corner and under "Select printer" you can save the assessment as pdf or on OneDrive.

You can save a copy of the notification form in the same way, by clicking on the "Export" button at the top of the form.

Why must I notify my project to NSD?

It is important to notify your project for several reasons:

  • You get an assessment that your project is in line with data protection legislation. Lack of notification can, at worst, lead to the collected data having to be deleted.
  • A good information letter can make it possible to reuse the research data. NSD can help you with this.
  • Your institution is legally required to document its processing of personal data. This requirement is fulfilled through notification.
  • Data protection legislation provides many opportunities and exemptions for research purposes. By considering potential issues in advance, we can help you find solutions.
  • Filling out a notification form helps you systematise the project and the planned data collection.
  • It is easier to get your results published when you can show that the project has been carried out in a lawful manner.

Any questions?

  • Chat with us: For general questions or assistance when filling out the notification form, you can chat with NSD’s advisers on weekdays 12–14.
  • Message dialogue: After you have sent in your notification form, you can use the message dialogue for questions and clarifications. The adviser for your project will reply to your message.