Records Management and Archives Formation Plan

The Finnish Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999) stipulates that in order to create and realise good practice on information management, the authorities shall see to the appropriate availability, usability, protection, integrity and other matters of quality pertaining to documents and information management systems. This provision also applies to Finnish universities and hence to the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD), although neither are public authorities. To fulfil these requirements, FSD has compiled this annually revised Archives Formation Plan.

FSD follows established national and international standards, models and practices when processing and describing data. These include, among others, the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) used for describing data in the social sciences, the reference model for an open archival information system OAIS (ISO14721:2012), and the specifications of the National Digital Preservation Service.

Responsibilities of FSD

FSD is a national service resource for scientific research and instruction. Its operations are funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and Tampere University. Founded in 1999, FSD operates as an independent institute in connection with Tampere University. The central objective of FSD is to archive digital research data and disseminate them for reuse in research, teaching and studying.

FSD archives quantitative and qualitative research datasets. The archiving process includes producing a version of the data that is suitable for reuse, creating descriptive metadata, conversion to file formats suitable for long-term preservation, and reviewing the anonymity of the data. FSD has been awarded the CoreTrustSeal (CTS), which is an international certificate granted to an organisation that preserves digital research data in a reliable manner and enables the reuse of data.

Contents of the Archives Formation Plan

FSD’s administrative documents are managed in accordance with the information management plan of Tampere University. All administrative documents that are stored by FSD permanently, either in accordance with the University’s information management plan or by FSD’s own decision, are listed in the Document Catalogue (Appendix 5).

This Archives Formation Plan is the highest-ranking directive concerning FSD’s operations and services. It is supplemented by an internal manual.

The Archives Formation Plan first describes how current legislation is taken into account in archiving and what FSD’s data acquisition and selection principles are. Then, it reviews FSD’s archiving process as well as the documents and document series that are processed and produced at different stages of the process. The last part of the Plan focuses on the Archive’s data systems as well as data security and confidentiality measures and practices.

  1. Compliance with legislation
  2. Data acquisition and selection criteria
  3. FSD's work process
  4. Website
  5. Information systems, data security and long-term preservation
  6. Collection thus far and anticipated accumulation
  7. Continuity plan

Validity, responsibilities and revisioning

This Archives Formation Plan is valid from 1 January 2010 onwards and, where applicable, retroactively from 1 January 1999.

The executive responsibility for records management lies with the Director of FSD. The IT Manager is responsible for data security and the preservation, conversion and any disposal of digital data. The Service Manager is responsible for archiving the hard copies of contracts and agreements related to the archiving and reuse of data. The responsibility for removal of personal information from research data lies with the data protection officer and the IT Manager. The removal must comply with the Ministry of Finance guidelines on the removal of classified data (in Finnish). Responsibilities concerning specific documents are defined in more detail in Appendix 1.

A Preservation Planning Team decides on changes to the contents of the Archives Formation Plan. The team comprises FSD’s Director, managers of each of FSD’s operational modules, data protection officer, data security officer, senior specialists of IT-infrastructure and web services. The working group convenes 3–4 times a year. The Archives Formation Plan is reviewed annually to ensure that it is in line with current practices. The responsibility for maintaining the Archives Formation Plan lies with the data protection officer also in charge of questions regarding legislative compliance in the preservation of research data.

The Archives Formation Plan is preserved in electronic form only. Information on changes is documented with a version control system.