Archived research data for speedy studies – the number of data downloads for Bachelor’s and Master’s theses increased in 2018

The number of dataset downloads from FSD’s holdings for reuse in Bachelor’s and Master’s theses increased in 2018, whereas the number of downloads for reuse in research, teaching and other studying decreased. The most active institutions to download data from FSD's holdings were the University of Tampere (17% of downloads), the University of Eastern Finland (16%), the University of Helsinki (12%), and the University of Turku (12%). Datasets were used broadly at Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences. Registered users from institutions abroad constituted seven percent of data downloads in 2018 (2017: 16%).

The number of dataset downloads from Aila Data Service decreased 19 percent from the previous year. In total, FSD processed 1,954 access applications in 2018 (2017: 2,502), and 2,344 datasets were delivered to users (2017: 2,905). A single user is able to download the same dataset multiple times as long as their permission for access is valid, which is why the number of delivered datasets is greater than the number of processed access applications. From 2014 to 2018, approximately 11,500 datasets were downloaded from Aila.

Studying remained the most popular reuse purpose of downloaded data (37% of downloads). In addition, datasets were downloaded for theses and dissertations (31%), other reseach (20%) and teaching (8%) (see Fig. 1). Data were downloaded most actively in January, October and November.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Dataset downloads according to purpose of use 2014–2018 (number of downloads).

Reusing archived research data interests both registered users and those downloading openly available datasets. In 2018, 830 registered users downloaded one or more datasets from Aila (2017: 931). In addition, datasets that are openly available without registration were downloaded by 399 persons. Aila had a total of 2,925 registered users at the end of 2018 (2017: 3,134).

In 2018, FSD’s holdings expanded by 89 new datasets (2017: 85). On Aila Data Service, 79 new datasets were published (2017: 78). Aila Data Service included a total of 1,417 datasets at the end of the year, 1,214 quantitative datasets and 203 qualitative. The most popular dataset published in 2018 was European Social Survey 2016: Finnish Data. Eleven datasets were added to Aila that are openly available for download even without registration. The total number of openly available datasets reached 82 at the end of the year.

For our international users, Aila Data Service also currently includes 358 datasets where the data files are in English (349 quantitative, 9 qualitative). FSD translates quantitative datasets on request into English, and some data files are originally in English. In 2018, 21 new English-language datasets were published on Aila.