Open access data deposited and used actively in 2017

The use of data archived at the FSD grew by 2.5% last year. Aila Data Service was launched in 2014, after which the number of data deliveries has grown annually. In 2017, we processed 2,502 access applications (2016: 2,355), and 2,905 datasets were downloaded (2016: 2,835). An individual user may download the same data more than once with the same access application, which is why the number of downloaded datasets is higher than the number of access applications.

The largest number of data downloads took place in the beginning of the year: nearly 1,300 datasets were downloaded in the first four months. The summer months were quieter (May–August: 428), but the rate of downloads increased again in the autumn and nearly 1,200 more datasets were downloaded by the end of the year. The largest share of downloads were made for studying and teaching purposes (48%). Data were also delivered for theses and dissertations (23%), and other research purposes (26%).

Re-using data remains popular among registered users as well as people who download data without registering. In 2017, 931 individual registered users downloaded data (2016: 1020), while 494 individuals downloaded open access data. All in all, there were as many as 3,134 registered users on Aila by the end of 2017 (2016: 2800).

Our data collection grew by 85 datasets, and 78 new datasets became available on Aila in 2017. At the end of the year there were a total of 1,377 datasets in Aila, 1,150 of which were quantitative and 187 qualitative. Out of the datasets published on Aila in 2017, the most popular one was Child Barometer 2016.

Twelve new open access datasets were published on Aila in 2017, resulting in a total of 71 datasets that are accessible without registration. Demand for open access data is evident in the number of downloads, as four out of five of the most popular datasets of all time are open access datasets.

In 2017, FSD developed and improved its services related to depositing and using data. A completely new service, Penna, was developed to facilitate collecting textual data from research participants and to allow archiving the collected data directly at FSD. Our data theme pages were also given an overhaul, and new pages were added on studies and students, food, crime, culture and leisure, and past and future, among others.

There are over 300 quantitative datasets available in English on Aila. Users can restrict their searches to data that are already available in English or they can browse our data descriptions and order a data translation free of charge. Since the launch of Aila in 2014, data downloads in English have comprised roughly 25% of all downloads.