About Us

The Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) is a national resource centre for research and education.

Our mission is to preserve data collected to study Finnish society, people and cultural phenomena in the long term. We disseminate data to reusers reliably and efficiently through our modern digital services.

CoreTrustSeal logo FSD promotes open access to research data as well as transparency, accumulation and efficient reuse of scientific research. FSD also responsibly implements the FAIR data principles, which aim at making data and services Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable. FSD has been awarded the CoreTrustSeal (CTS) (Opens in a new tab) PDF which is granted to an organisation that preserves digital research data in a reliable manner and enables the reuse of data. Efficient, fair and free services are the cornerstone of our activities.

Organisational structure and funding

FSD operates as a separate unit of Tampere University and is Finland’s national service provider for CESSDA (Opens in a new tab) , the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives, which provides services to researchers internationally. FSD has worked toward responsible open science in Finland since 1999.

The archive is a national resource centre funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and Tampere University. In addition, FSD receives project funding for research infrastructure projects from the Research Council of Finland and CESSDA. Occasionally, FSD works on projects funded by other actors.

FSD's main functions are

  • active long-term preservation of data
  • delivering data to users
  • data acquisition and negotiating the terms of use set for data
  • checking data and producing metadata descriptions for archived data
  • providing information service on data and data management
  • promoting the best practices in open science, data collection and reuse and influencing in their development
  • providing information on data, data archiving services and events
  • acting as CESSDA's national service provider
  • participating in international data archive and research infrastructure collaboration
  • development and maintenance of IT systems intended for processing research data and delivery for reuse

To support its basic tasks, FSD participates in providing training related to its field and in the production of training materials. FSD supports methods teaching and participates in the development of data processing practices nationally and internationally.

Operating Principles

The FSD focuses on acquiring social science data. Under certain circumstances, data from other relevant fields (Arts and Humanities, Education, and Health Sciences) can also be archived.

Datasets deposited at the archive must meet certain technical and legal requirements. Before dissemination, archived datasets are processed and documented. Archiving and dissemination of data are regulated by specific conditions and agreements. Depositors can set conditions on the use of their data, and secondary users must comply with the conditions set by depositors and the archive. As a rule, archiving does not affect copyright or ownership of data.

FSD disseminates data for research, teaching and studying, free of charge. Some of the datasets are openly available for anyone for any use. Research refers to work in which answers to research questions are sought through systematic analysis of data and application of the research methods of the field, and which is carried out at universities, research institutes or other equivalent organisations. Teaching refers to courses at a university, university of applied sciences or equivalent organisation. Study refers to studies under the supervision of a teacher, lecturer etc. at a university, university of applied sciences or equivalent organisation.

Approximately one quarter of the datasets on Aila are already available in English, and more are translated on request. This service is also free of charge.