All Previous News 2004–October 18, 2017 (News Archive)
Guidelines on Informing Research Participants updated
The chapter on informing research participants of the Data Management Guidelines has been updated to reflect the changes brought on by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The GDPR will be enforced from 25 May 2018 onward, and many of our users have asked us how the changes in legislation affect research. Answers to many of these questions can now be found in the Data Management Guidelines.
The chapter will be further updated once the national legislation is amended and new legal rulings become available.
Open house at FSD in celebration of the Nordic Archives Day
The Archives Day is celebrated in the Nordic countries on Saturday 11 November. In Finland, this year's theme of the Archives Day is the centenary of the Finnish Independence. FSD celebrates the occasion by organising open house and offering tea and coffee for visitors on Friday 10 November.
Our visiting address is Åkerlundinkatu 5B, 4th floor. We welcome visitors on Friday 10 November between 11:50 am and 3:00 pm! Visitors will have the opportunity to take a tour of FSD premises and hear about FSD services in English at 1:00 pm.
Take a look at our latest video where Humanities Research Specialist Katja Fält briefly introduces FSD's Aila Data Service and tells you how to browse and download research data, free of charge.
You can follow FSD's videos on our channel on YouTube. The channel features, among others, introductions to FSD services as well as our webinars and seminar presentations (in Finnish). Subscribe to the channel to stay informed of the latest videos.
October's theme page on safety and security is now published as part of FSD's Life in the 100-year-old Finland project, celebrating 100 years of Finnish independence. Although thematically close to the theme page on crime published in June, the page on safety and security is broader in scope and contains data on, for example, opinions on security policy, safety and emergency services, and safety in the neighbourhood as well as personal experiences of safety and insecurity.
The next theme page will be published 6 November and the final one focusing on life in Finland in 2016 and 2017 will be available on the eve of the Independence Day, 5 December.
The centennial of Finland's independence is drawing closer and so is the completion of FSD's Life in the 100-year-old Finland project. This months's theme is culture and leisure, and the new theme page lists both individual datasets and data series suited for research on the topic. See, for example, the datasets Finnish Views on and Engagement in Culture and the Arts 2013 and Culture and Leisure in Finland 2007, both of which investigated various cultural and leisure activities of Finns.
Two more theme pages will be published before the conclusion of FSD’s centenary project and the publication of the special theme page entitled Life in the 100-year-old Finland on the eve of Finland’s Independence Day, 5 December. The page will feature data collected in Finland in 2016 and 2017, illustrating what Finland is currently like and what Finns think about different issues.
Here is a look at a few datasets that were recently translated into English and which have been popular among our users. These data are available for download on our Aila Data Service.
The EVA Survey on Finnish Values and Attitudes 2017, conducted by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum, charts the Finnish public opinion on a range of issues, including politics and the political system, democracy, social security and public services, and immigration. The Child Barometer 2016, conducted by the Finnish Office of Ombudsman for Children, is the first barometer of its kind in Finland and it surveyed trust, emotions, friendships and family relationships among six-year-olds. The Development Cooperation Survey 2016 is the most recent survey in the annual survey series studying Finnish opinions and knowledge of development cooperation, its importance, objectives and allocation.
If these datasets are not quite what you are looking for, visit the Aila Data Service to find the right data for you. You can use the advanced search to find datasets already available in English or you can browse our study descriptions for all available data. We will translate quantitative data for you free of charge.
You can now follow FSD on Tietoarkisto channel on YouTube. The channel will feature, among others, introductions to FSD services as well as articles in upcoming issues of the Tietoarkisto magazine (available in Finnish). We will also post videos of our webinars and seminar presentations on the channel. See the short introduction to FSD's key services and subscribe to FSD's channel!
FSD has been again awarded the internationally respected Data Seal of Approval (DSA). The DSA is awarded to organisations that preserve digital research data in a reliable manner and enable efficient reuse of data.
FSD was among the first archives in the world to receive the new DSA, whose standards have become more stringent since the previous application round. FSD's previous Data Seal of Approval was issued for the years 2014-2017. Applying for the DSA was part of the CESSDA SaW project in which FSD is a member.
FSD's Tietomilli service congratulates Finland with special frontpage
Tietomilli, FSD's service that enables simple analyses and comparisons of public opinion survey data online, has a new frontpage to celebrate the centenary of Finland's independence. The frontpage, entitled One hundred questions for Finns, contains a hundred interesting questions that Finns have answered in large polls. Frequency distributions of the responses to these questions are represented in illustrative infographs, complete with old Finnish photographs. The photographs are available on Finna.fi search service for material in Finnish museums, libraries and archives.
On Tietomilli, anyone from school children to political decision-makers can easily analyze survey data collected in Finnish public opinion polls. Using Tietomilli is free and does not require statistical software skills. For the time being, Tietomilli is only available in Finnish.
Data on students and studying available on new theme page
FSD has published a new data theme page as part of its Finland 100 celebration project. This month’s theme page focuses on studying and students. The page features data series and individual datasets suitable for research on the topic.
The data featured on the theme page have charted, for instance, university and polytechnic students’ motivation to study, well-being and everyday life as well as their employment prospects after graduation. Other datasets have concentrated on students at lower educational stages, including secondary education.
New theme pages are published around the sixth of each month in 2017. On the eve of the Independence Day, 5 December, a special theme page entitled Life in the 100-year-old Finland will be published.
This month’s data theme page features datasets on food. For a long time, there was fairly little awareness of Finnish cuisine outside of Finland, but its appreciation abroad has grown along with the interest in simple, fresh, locally produced, organic food. The culinary scene in Finland is expanding, and many skilled chefs have reinvented traditionally humble Finnish dishes and made them fit to be served in Michelin-starred restaurants.
However, the everyday eating habits of the public at large may tell a different story altogether. Data on our new theme page shed light on the eating habits, diets, and nutrition of Finns as well as their views on food aid and consumer choices relating to food.
New data theme pages continue to be released every month until the conclusion of FSD’s centenary project and the publication of the final centenary theme page entitled Life in the 100-year-old Finland on the eve of Finland’s Independence Day, 5 December.
FSD strives to reinforce its position as an international expert of responsible open science. Our aim is that by 2020 FSD will be even better known as a trusted expert of open science and long-term preservation of data, both in Finland and abroad.
The scientific community needs reliable national services in the humanities and social sciences to support the increasing internationalisation of academic research. FSD develops its services in cooperation with domestic and international partners in a way that promotes the impact of Finnish research data.
FSD is an expert organisation in digital research data that curates data collected for research on society, population and cultural phenomena. We disseminate data for re-use in an effective, responsible and reliable manner. Our main user groups are researchers, higher education students and teachers. Our key strength is our professional, customer-oriented services.
Our activities are guided by the values of responsibility, openness, fairness, cooperation and our community spirit.
» FSD Strategy (PDF file, in Finnish)
» FSD user services: asiakaspalvelu.fsd at uta.fi (during the summer)
» Director Helena Laaksonen (after the holidays) (29 June 2017)
FSD prepares its first data balance sheet
The EU General Data Protection Regulation requires that organisations that control and process personal data, including FSD, produce a record of their data processing activities. The record must demonstrate how privacy is taken into consideration in accordance with the Regulation and national legislation.
As a result, FSD will publish a data balance sheet annually in the future. The data balance sheet contains information on FSD’s principles of data archiving and dissemination, technical and organisational measures taken to protect personal data, and statistics from the previous year. The data balance sheet also allows FSD to identify what needs to be improved during the following year of operations.
FSD’s first data balance sheet for the year 2016 is public and viewable by anyone interested on the FSD website. For the time being, however, the data balance sheet is only available in Finnish.
The Data Archive's information service is open the whole summer. However, due to staff holidays delays in answering information service requests are possible from late June to the end of July. Our Data Service Portal Aila doesn't take a holiday - data downloads are available without interruptions.
During the summer months we kindly request you to send any queries about datasets, access applications or archiving by email to asiakaspalvelu.fsd at uta.fi. Questions on technical issues with our online services should be directed to tuki.fsd at uta.fi.
(19 June 2017)
Use of Data Management Guidelines soars
Use of the Data Management Guidelines, freely available on the FSD website, increased by over 40% in 2016. Altogether, the Guidelines were accessed roughly 50,500 times during the year.
Use of the English version of the Guidelines, in particular, reached new heights with a tremendous increase of 177% compared to the previous year. Most of the users accessed the English version in Finland, but a fair amount of traffic originated from the United States (12%) and Great Britain (5%), too. Increase in the use of the Finnish version was more moderate: 45% compared to the previous year.
"The growth can be partly explained by the fact that the Academy of Finland started requiring data management plans to be included in funding applications. Introduction of the successful data management planning tool DMPTuuli created in the Open Science and Research Initiative surely contributed to the increase as well," says FSD's Development Manager Arja Kuula-Luumi.
FSD’s Data Management Guidelines provide practical advice and instructions on managing digital research data at different stages of the data life cycle. The Guidelines contain up-to-date information on matters related to agreements, rights, informing research participants, and anonymisation of data, among others.
FSD continues to celebrate the centenary of Finland’s independence by publishing new data theme pages monthly. This month, however, the theme is not the most festive one; some half a million crimes are reported to the police in Finland annually. Although the crime rate in Finland is relatively low, crime and criminality remain subject to a great deal of research.
The new theme page lists individual datasets and data series suited for research on crime from the perspectives of both victims and offenders. The page features most recent datasets on the subject as well as some older data selected by the FSD staff.
New theme pages are published around the sixth of each month during 2017. On the eve of the Independence Day, 5 December, a special theme page entitled Life in the 100-year-old Finland will be published. The page will feature data collected in Finland in recent years, illustrating what Finland is currently like and what Finns think about different issues.
New toolkit helps assess cost-benefits of data archiving
The CESSDA SaW Project has published a Cost-Benefit Advocacy Toolkit that allows you to assess the costs and benefits of data archiving activities and share this information with others. The primary audience of the toolkit is the staff in existing or proposed national social science archives in Europe.
The toolkit comprises a user guide, three factsheets, case studies from social science data archives and two worksheets. The worksheets, the Archive Development Canvas and the Benefits Summary for a Data Archive, help you develop new services and allow identifying and assessing benefits from your data archive. FSD has also prepared a Benefits Summary based on the worksheets.
Information in the factsheets can be used to think about and identify benefits from your data archive for different stakeholders, and to gain an understanding of return on investment (ROI) as well as the available cost tools.
Starting from the first of May, spring and summer celebrations in Finland often involve pouring some bubbly. However, the Finns have a bit of a reputation for liking their drink, and the drinking habits are not always something to raise your glass for.
A new theme page featuring data on alcohol and substance use has been published on the FSD website. The theme page lists both individual datasets and data series suited for research on the topic.
New theme pages published around the sixth of each month in 2017 are part of FSD’s celebration of Finland’s 100th anniversary. On the eve of the Independence Day, 5 December, a special theme page entitled Life in the 100-year-old Finland will be published.
FSD shuts down Swedish data catalogue – data in Swedish continue to be archived
FSD’s Swedish data catalogue was closed down when the new Aila search was launched. FSD will continue to receive and archive data in Swedish, but data descriptions in Swedish are no longer created. Data in Swedish can still be easily found on the Aila Data Service by using the language filter.
The reason for the closure was the fact that FSD received data in Swedish only very rarely. There are currently 12 datasets containing data files in Swedish on Aila.
In the future, questionnaires and other data-related material in Swedish will be published in the Finnish and English data catalogues. Codebooks in Swedish will no longer be created. However, whenever they are available, data files, questionnaires and any additional material in Swedish will be automatically included in data packages downloaded from Aila.
Datasets that have been described only in Swedish will remain in Swedish, but they can now be found in the Finnish catalogue. Datasets that had metadata both in Finnish and Swedish will only have a Finnish data description from now on.
New improved search interface of the Aila Data Service is online. Users can now search for data, individual variables and questions as well as publications based on the data in FSD holdings.
"We want to offer our users improved tools for finding suitable data, questions and variables," says Information Services Manager Hannele Keckman-Koivuniemi.
Users can search for data by title, author, keyword, data series, nation, field of study or time period covered by data.
Search results can be narrowed by using various filters, including data type, availability and data file language. Narrowing results by data file language is particularly useful for non-Finnish users who wish to find data already translated into English. Performing advanced searches is facilitated by an autocomplete feature, which suggests search terms to the user.
The user also receives more information on their search results than before. The search result list displays, for example, data authors, type, time period covered, keywords, data series, and other languages in which the study description is available.
As a result of the new search interface, the front page of the Aila data catalogue has also received a small visual overhaul.
The FSD celebrates the centenary of Finland's independence by publishing a new data theme page on the sixth day of each month starting from today.
The theme for April is equality and impartiality – principles which Finland has achieved very well in global comparison and which Finns take pride in. Finland is among the best in the world in several equality rankings, including gender equality, fairness for children and absence of corruption.
Success in achieving these principles is also studied a great deal. Several datasets charting equality, impartiality and fairness in Finland are available for reuse at the FSD. Topics include, for example, equality at work, gender equality, fair treatment of young people, and equality for people from minority groups. On the theme page you can find the most recently published datasets on the subject, data series as well as recommendations for individual datasets selected by the FSD staff.
The next theme page will be published in May and the FSD’s centenary project culminates in the publication of a theme page entitled Life in the 100-year-old Finland on the eve of Finland’s Independence Day, 5 December. This page will feature data collected in Finland in 2016 and 2017, which paint a picture of what Finland is currently like and what Finns think about different issues.
The FSD’s annual report from 2016 has been published online in Finnish. Activities during the year were guided by the strategy for years 2013-2016. Main goals set out in the strategy were to increase and diversify services, to expand into new fields of study, to increase operational resources and to promote and enhance international cooperation. These goals were reached quite successfully.
In the future, we will focus more on individual articles, news items, and columns on individual datasets or aspects of open science and data archiving, among others. (16 March 2017)
University of Tampere Data Policy encourages digital archiving at FSD
The University of Tampere published its data policy last autumn. The policy paper was approved by Rector’s decision on 27 October 2016.
According to the data policy, the University of Tampere "adheres to good scientific practice and the principles of open science and research when research data is made open and research results are published". Researchers are encouraged to deposit digital research data produced at the University for long-term preservation primarily with the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD). Data unsuited for preservation at the FSD should be deposited with a reliable national archive of the field or a suitable international data service.
The task of the FSD set out in the data policy is to support making research data openly available. In practice, this entails ensuring long-term access to the archived data and distributing data descriptions to several national and international databases.
The significance of data management plans is also stressed. Researchers should create a plan that includes, among others, a general description of the data as well as details on data collection methods to be used, data storage during the study, anonymization of the data, long-term preservation or destruction of the data, and intentions to open the data for reuse. The FSD’s Data Management Guidelines are mentioned as a source of instructions on good data management and anonymization.
The FSD’s Data by Theme pages have been updated after a long break. The pages are designed to aid researchers, students and teachers looking for data on particular themes, such as working life, Finnish elections, environment and energy, health, youth and several others. Each theme page lists the newest datasets and data series on the theme available at the FSD. The pages also contain other datasets worth taking a look at handpicked by the FSD staff.
(28 February 2017)
Aila unavailable from 7:00 Tue 14 March, 2017
The Aila Data Service will be unavailable from 7:00 a.m. Tuesday 14th March due to move to a new server. The interruption in services will be longer than the usual Tuesday maintenance window. Other FSD online services such as our home pages and the Data Management Guidelines will not be affected. We apologise for the inconvenience.
For technical support or more information contact: tuki.fsd [at] uta.fi
(27 February 2017)
New infrastructure funding from the Academy of Finland
The Academy of Finland has granted the FSD over 1,7 million euro for the period of 1 January 2017–31 December 2021 based on the proposal the archive submitted in the FIRI 2016 call for research infrastructures based on state memberships. The project is titled "Active FSD for CESSDA: New European Services for Researchers".
The new funding will allow the Data Archive to focus on meeting the requirements set by CESSDA as well as actively taking part in development work within the research infrastructure. The aim is to have an active role in designing the services that CESSDA will offer to European researchers in the future and to ensure that the services provided by the FSD are in line with European and international standards.
Last year, the use of data archived at the FSD grew by 25% compared to 2015, reaching a total of 2,835 downloaded datasets by the end of the year (2015: 2,262). The busiest month in terms of data downloads was September (489), while July was the quietest (79).
A growing number of students and researchers are discovering the advantages of reusing data. In 2016, as many as 1,020 registered users downloaded data from the data service portal Aila (2015: 802). In addition, open access data, which do not require registration, were downloaded by 397 persons. Use of information services provided by the FSD also grew. Overall, the data service portal now has some 2,800 registered users.
Data were mostly downloaded for study (50%) and research purposes (24%). The most popular quantitative dataset in 2016 was, again, Tatu Vanhanen’s Measures of Democracy 1810-2012, while Parenthood after Divorce 2011-2012 was the most downloaded qualitative dataset. However, users were interested in a variety of data types and topics, as 574 different datasets were downloaded at least once over the year.
The FSD data collection grew by 60 datasets in 2016. Currently there are a total of 1,270 datasets in Aila, of which nearly 180 are qualitative and 59 are open access datasets, accessible without registration.
The FSD translates quantitative data (questions and response alternatives) into English for users who do not speak Finnish, on request and free of charge, as well as publishes the translated data in its data catalogue. At present there are over 300 quantitative datasets already available in English. The question and response texts can be searched in “Aila variable search”. Since the launch of Aila in 2014, data downloads in English have comprised about 25% of all downloads. Aila interface will continue to be improved in 2017 and soon international users will be able to restrict their searches to data that are already available in English.
Mrs Helena Laaksonen has been appointed as the new director of the FSD. The Board of the University of Tampere appointed Mrs Laaksonen in its meeting on January 16, 2017.
Helena Laaksonen received her Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Tampere. She has worked for the FSD since 2002, and as an information officer and deputy director since 2004. In recent years, she has also served almost two years as an acting director.
Before joining the Data Archive, she worked as a researcher in sociology in several research projects at the University of Tampere, and at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research in Germany.
– We will continue on our chosen path here at the Data Archive – together, states Mrs Laaksonen when outlining her vision for the future.
– The FSD is in good shape right now, but the field of research data services is continuously evolving. One must keep up with development, and preferably have an impact on it too.
She also points out that e-infrastructures require constant updating and maintenance.
– For that to be possible, both external funding and collaboration between national and international actors are essential, she concludes.
(18 January 2017)
Christmas and New Year closing times
The FSD User Services are closed from Wednesday 21 December 2016 and will re-open on Monday 9 January 2016. Aila Data Service will run unattended during this period. In Aila, registered users can download data online in accordance with the conditions set for each dataset.
FSD has now published the Finnish National Election Study 2015 (FSD3067, urn:nbn:fi:fsd:T-FSD3067). Questions cover political participation, political attitudes, party support, candidate and party choice and voting behaviour. The dataset also contains Finland’s contribution to the international Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) module 4. The data have been translated into English and are available for research and study purposes.
Two changes in Aila: Amendment of Terms and Conditions for Aila use, e-mail address confirmation
The FSD has updated its terms and conditions for the use of the Aila Data Service. Even previously registered users must accept the new terms and conditions before they can download more data from Aila. The system asks registered users to do this when they log in.
The amendment relates to the dissemination of personal data and is a consequence of an agreement made between the Finnish copyright society Kopiosto and the Finnish Social Science Data Archive in 2015. The agreement allows the FSD to archive and disseminate newspaper and magazine material as well as photographs collected for research but created by others. According to the agreement, the data archive must inform the society of the users (name and home organisation) of Kopiosto data. The terms and conditions have been amended to allow the archive to submit this information.
Another change in Aila relates to the situation where a registered user changes the contact email address in his or her profile. The system will send an email to the new address, asking the user to click on a link to confirm the address.
CESSDA (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives) is a research infrastructure for social science data archives across Europe. The Main Office is located in Bergen. CESSDA is now completing the process of becoming a full European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) and is seeking qualified candidates for the full-time position of director.
CESSDA provides free, high-quality archiving and data management services to the international research community. One of its main goals is to make data available to researchers regardless of the location.
Finland is a member of CESSDA and the Finnish Social Science Data Archive is one of its national service providers.
Data archiving as part of a Research Project seminar in Oulu
Opening research data to the research community is a growing trend globally and it is also having a significant impact in Finland. In August, the FSD, in association with the University of Oulu, will arrange a seminar titled Data Archiving as Part of a Research Project in Oulu. Current practices and demands of research funders and publishers will be discussed as well as national services for researchers in Finland. Participants will have the possibility to ask questions, take part in discussion and share good practices. The event is free of charge and open to anyone interested, but prior registration is required.
The Data Archive's information service is open the whole summer. However, due to staff holidays delays in answering information service requests are possible from late June to early August. During the summer months we kindly request you to send any queries about datasets, access applications or archiving by email to asiakaspalvelu.fsd at uta.fi. Questions on technical issues with our online services should be directed to tuki.fsd at uta.fi. Our Data Service Portal Aila doesn't take a holiday - data downloads are available without interruptions.
(20 June 2016)
Data Archive's bibliographic citation convention updated
The FSD has started archiving data with persistent URN identifiers (PIDs). Consequently, the bibliographic citation format suggested by the FSD has also been updated.
In addition to persistent identifiers, the new citation format also includes the data author's organisation. The purpose of these changes is to facilitate linking and searching for data as well as to improve the visibility of universities and other organisations.
All datasets archived at the FSD include an example of the bibliographic citation for our users' convenience. Users can copy and use the recommended citation or amend it to be compatible with the citation requirements of the publication.
CESSDA, the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives, is in the process of developing common practices relating to persistent identifiers. The FSD will play an active role in the CESSDA cooperation and improve the use of identifiers, for example, to enable data version changes in the future.
FSD's main web site will be down for scheduled maintenance on May 24, 2016. Service break is scheduled to begin 1am local time (2016-05-16 22:00 UTC) and should be over by 6am (2016-05-24 03:00 UTC). However, we cannot guarantee service availability until 1pm (10:00 UTC).
All web services rooted to www.fsd.uta.fi will be affected. FSD's data portal Aila will function normally during the maintenance work. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
(10 May 2016)
Promoter of Data Archiving Award
The Promoter of Data Archiving Award is designed to acknowledge persons who have significantly contributed to the data archiving activities and objectives of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. It is a personal, academic distinction and the award itself consists of a small object of art. The recipient of the year 2016 award is Hans Jørgen Marker.
Hans Jørgen Marker had a central role in the transition of CESSDA from the Council of European Social Science Data Archives to the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives. The FSD also benefited significantly from cooperation with the Danish Data Archive and the Swedish National Data Service during Marker’s leadership in these organisations.
(28 April 2016)
User statistics from the year 2015 show that the use of FSD data collection continues to grow. This trend has been clearly visible since the launch of the data service portal Aila in mid-2014. The portal allows users to download data online.
Compared to 2014, the number of datasets downloaded grew by 60%, reaching 2,200 by the end of the year. Over 800 registered users downloaded data. In addition, open access data which do not require registration were downloaded by 360 persons.
The most popular quantitative dataset was Measures of Democracy 1810-2012 which can be downloaded without registration. Of qualitative data, the follow-up study Everyday Experiences of Poverty 2012 interested users the most. In addition to the favourites, users showed interest in a wide variety of data: over 500 different datasets were downloaded at least once during the year.
By the end of last year, FSD data collection included 1,200 datasets of which 170 were qualitative. All archived datasets are described in English and published in our catalogue. There are at present over 300 quantitative datasets where the data themselves (questions and response alternatives) have already been translated and are available in English. Their question and responses can be searched in Aila variable search. Since the launch of the portal, about 24 per cent of all downloads have been data in English.
The FSD User Services are closed from Monday 21 December 2015 and will re-open on Thursday 7 January 2015. Aila Data Service does not take holidays and will run unsupported during this period. Registered users can download data online in accordance with the conditions set for each dataset.
Users have downloaded over 2,000 datasets from Aila Data Service this year. Since the launch of the data service in May 2014, altogether 3,200 downloads have been made. Students and researchers are the biggest user groups. The most popular datasets have so far been Measures of Democracy 1810-2012 (FSD1289) and Democratization and Power Resources 1850-2000 (FSD1216), both of which can be downloaded without registration.
At the moment, Aila contains nearly 1,200 datasets. Download is free of charge but usually requires registration. Most datasets are available for research or education purposes.
(24 November 2015)
FSD to lead CESSDA Metadata Management project
CESSDA has launched a project to develop, promote and implement a standardised metadata design, content and practice for all CESSDA data assets. The main aim of this project is to create a Metadata Standards Portfolio that will become the standard for all CESSDA service providers. The project will be led by Mari Kleemola from the FSD, with other participating member organisations being ADP, CASD, DDA, GESIS, NSD, SND and UKDS.
» Development Manager Mari Kleemola (24 November 2015)
Service breaks expected on November 18, 2015 9am–noon
Due to scheduled maintenance at the Data Archive all online services may be intermittently unavailable Wednesday November 18, 9am-noon local time. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
(11 November 2015)
FSD's Development Manager Mari Kleemola has been elected to the Board of Data Seal of Approval (DSA) initiative. She will begin her two-year term in January 2016. The Board manages and monitors the DSA assessment procedures, convenes meetings of the General Assembly, conducts the daily business of the DSA Community, and provides information on DSA activities.
FSD provides services to humanities and health sciences
Originally a social sciences data archive, the FSD is close to obtaining a national mandate to archive humanities and health data as well. The Archive has already expanded its services to researchers in these fields. Research specialists Katja Fält and Annaleena Okuloff were recruited in the beginning of 2015. Their initial work tasks have included liaising with researchers and conducting a survey on current data preservation and open access practices in humanities and health sciences. The findings of the survey will be useful in creating national guidelines for data archiving and reuse in these fields.
Many Finnish research funders recommend open access to research data. International scientific publications are increasingly requesting that the data on which the findings are based on are made available for other researchers. It is good for health researchers to take this trend into account. For example, PLOS ONE requires that all data underlying the findings reported in a submitted manuscript must be fully available without restrictions. The publication also recommends that data be deposited in an appropriate public repository. The same availability requirement applies to some of the BioMed Central publications.
FSD's Data Management Award is an acknowledgement of exemplary data management and attention given to data lifecycle when collecting, organising and archiving data. The recipient of the year 2015 Award is Janne Kivivuori, Research Director in the Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy. He directs the data collection of Finnish juvenile delinquency surveys. Data collection begun in 1995 and is conducted every four years. Good data management and pre-planning has allowed the longitudinal data to be collected in a manner that allows archiving and reuse, thereby overcoming research ethical and data protection challenges that such data entail.
Open lecture: Starting R for social science research
"R" is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, but how to use it in social science research?
Adrian Duşa, the director of the Romanian Social Data Archive (RODA), will offer a free and open introduction to "R" at the University of Tampere (Linna K113) on September 22 2015 at 13–15 pm. The lecture will be held in English and it is organized by the Finnish Social Science Data Archive.
Starting R for social science research:
- introduction to R
- data in, data out
- installing and loading packages
- using functions
- working with data
- specialised packages (10 September 2015)
EVA Survey on Finnish Values and Attitudes 2015
English translation of the EVA Survey on Finnish Values and Attitudes 2015 is now available for download on Aila Data Service for research, teaching and study purposes.
(28 August 2015)
National Election Study 2015
The Finnish parliamentary elections were held in April, 2015. Data have subsequently been collected for the National Election Study 2015 which also contains the international Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) module 4. The data thus form Finland’s contribution to the CSES and will be available to users from the Aila Data Service starting from mid-2016.
» Aila Data Service (21 August 2015)
ISSP 2014: Citizenship II: Finnish Data
Finnish data of the International Social Survey Programme's 2014 Citizenship II Survey have been described in English at the FSD. Themes studied included citizen participation, attitudes towards participation, and political and social influence. English translation of the data can be ordered for research, teaching and study purposes.
(30 June 2015)
Summer 2015 opening hours
The Data Archive's information service is open the whole summer. However, due to staff holidays delays in answering information service requests are possible from June to July. During the summer months we kindly request you to send any queries about datasets, access applications or archiving by email to asiakaspalvelu.fsd at uta.fi. Questions on technical issues with our online services should be directed to tuki.fsd at uta.fi. Our Data Service Portal Aila doesn't take a holiday - data downloads are available without interruptions.
(22 June 2015)
Data Management Guidelines published in English
What issues should research teams agree on regarding research data before data are collected? How should research participants be informed? How to document and describe data to ensure subsequent data sharing? The answers to these questions and many others can be found in the Data Management Guidelines published by the FSD.
The Archive had already previously published the guidelines in Finnish. The Finnish version has recently undergone a major change and at this point also a version in English was produced. The version in English is not yet quite complete, as some sections are still in progress.
The Data Management Guidelines focus on the situation in Finland and the requirements set by the Finnish legislation. One of the main aims is to help researchers who work in Finland but do not speak Finnish and methodology teachers holding courses for people who do not speak Finnish. It will soon be possible to produce a handy printable version of all sections. The Guidelines are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
FSD staff member Tuomas J. Alaterä has been elected as President of IASSIST. He takes up office in June 2015. Alaterä served the organisation as Vice-President during the period 2011–2015 and has also been a member of the Web Team.
Research on copyright-related material facilitated
Finnish copyright society Kopiosto is an umbrella organisation for associations representing performing artists, authors and publishers. Kopiosto has the power of attorney for over 50,000 copyright holders in Finland. The Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) and Kopiosto have now made an agreement allowing the Archive to archive material collected by researchers for their research but created by others. This agreement applies to digital or digitalized newspaper and magazine material as well as photographs, but not to audiovisual material or music.
The Archive can disseminate such archived material for research purposes. The material must be cited appropriately. Special permission rule applies to all such material: The data shall not be published. Users of the data can quote the material in the manner allowed by the Finnish Copyright Act, in accordance with proper usage to the extent necessary for the purpose. The creator and source must be cited in published quotations in an appropriate manner. (5 March 2015)
The Academy of Finland has granted the Finnish Social Science Data Archive over a million euros for the period of 1 February 2015–31 December 2017, based on the proposal the Archive had submitted for the research infrastructure call FIRI2014.
The new funding will allow the Archive to strengthen its international role, and offer support and expertise to the development projects of the new pan-European research infrastructure CESSDA. The Archive will also develop its programs, databases and practices further. Another major aim is to consolidate services aimed at health sciences and humanities. Two experts on these fields have been hired for this work. On a national level, competence and services related to large-scale national and international survey series as well as data management services will be on the agenda.
The FSD User Services are closed from Monday 22 December 2014 and will re-open on Wednesday 7 January 2015. Aila Data Service will run unattended during this period. In Aila, registered users can download data online in accordance with the conditions set for each dataset.
Comparison of Statistics Finland's and FSD's Metadata Models
Both Statistics Finland and FSD produce good-quality metadata. However, they each have their own metadata practices and models, due to which the metadata and the systems are not directly compatible. The existing metadata models have been compared for the purpose of finding a common language, creating interoperable metadata and enhancing cooperation possibilities. The work was part of the Meeting CESSDA-ERIC Requirements (VERIC) project funded by the Academy of Finland.
» Download the report (PDF).
(5 November 2014)
Changes in the Data Catalogue
Study descriptions of data that were only documented by the FSD were removed from our data catalogue at the beginning of October. From now on, the FSD will only manage datasets that have been deposited in the archive. The archived data and their descriptions can be downloaded from the Aila Data Service for research, teaching and study purposes. Access to data is subject to the terms and conditions applying to each dataset.
We are also restructuring our data and services pages. Our old data catalogue of archived data will be closed after a transition period. Old links will continue to work.
Access applications to Finnish National Foreign Language Certificate Corpus data are now managed by the Centre for Applied Language Studies (CALS).
The Finnish Social Science Data Archive is the first organisation in Finland to have been awarded the Data Seal of Approval (DSA). The DSA is awarded to an organisation that preserves digital research data in a reliable manner and enables the reuse of the data. The DSA is part of the European Framework for Audit and Certification of Digital Repositories. The framework consists of three levels with increasing requirements, and the DSA is the first of these. The second level involves a self-audit based on ISO 16363 and the third an external audit based on ISO 16363.
The FSD’s DSA application was part of the project of strengthening the national service provision as part of the CESSDA ERIC process. The work related to this undertaking has been done in the FSD Upgrade and VERIC projects, which have received research infrastructure funding from the Academy of Finland.
First FSD Data Management Award to Michail Galanakis
Affiliated Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr Michail Galanakis has taken data management and research ethics commendably into consideration already when planning data collection (FSD2926 Intercultural Urban Public Space in Toronto 2011–2013, available by January 2015). When conducting the interviews, he asked the research participants' written consent for archiving, and also presented his data archiving plan to a local research ethics board in Canada and followed the FSD's Data Management Planning guidelines when processing the data.
The award, a memento and a diploma, is presented to a person, research group or organisation in recognition of exemplary data management and attention given to data lifecycle when collecting, organising and archiving data. Good data management means that the research data and metadata related to the data have been created, stored and organised in a way that keeps the dataset accessible and reliable throughout its life span.
More information » in Finnish.
(17 September 2014)
Nearly 300 datasets downloaded from Aila Data Service
The FSD's new data service portal Aila was launched in May. Many users have embraced the new service during the summer and nearly 300 datasets have been downloaded for different purposes, mainly research. Foreign users currently comprise 16 percent of all registered users.
We expect the number of downloads to soar in the coming days when the academic year takes off in earnest in universities and universities of applied sciences.
The Data Archive's information service is open the whole summer. However, due to staff holidays delays in answering information service requests are possible in July. Data Service Portal Aila doesn't take a vacation - data downloads are available without interruptions.
For more information, please contact our information service at email@example.com or by calling +358 29 452 0411. Questions on technical issues with our online services should be directed to tuki.fsd at uta.fi.
(23 June 2014)
Data Service Portal Aila launched
The FSD has officially launched its new online data service Aila which facilitates access to data. Registered users can download data online, according to the conditions set for each dataset. Browsing and searching data is possible even without registration.
Users are provided with enhanced search opportunities. There is data search allowing users to search study level information, and it is possible to restrict the search to study title, data creator, abstract or keyword. Variable search allows searching for question texts or response alternatives. The previous data catalogue is available for the time being but from now on data deliveries are executed through the Aila service.
The data of many studies have already been translated and can be found with Variable Search in Aila. The FSD translates quantitative data into English on request, free of charge. Once the requested data have been translated, it can be downloaded online.
For the first time the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) Annual Meeting is held in Finland. The ISSP is a continuing annual programme of cross-national collaboration on surveys covering topics important for social science research. The meeting is jointly hosted by the Finnish Social Science Data Archive and the University of Tampere on May 24–28, 2014. More information on the ISSP 2014 Annual Meeting page.
(21 May 2014)
New Customer Service addresses
FSD has new contact addresses for its customer service. Using the new addresses, rather than contacting any particular staff member, ensures that there are no avoidable delays in your service due to the holidays or work-related absences of staff members. For questions related to data, access to or translations of data or archiving please contact FSD User Services. For technical issues, contact our Technical Support. Other contact details are available on a separate web page.
User Services (ordering data, access rights, depositing):
» asiakaspalvelu.fsd at uta.fi, tel. +358 29 452 0411
Technical Support (websites, online services):
» tuki.fsd at uta.fi
(17 April 2014)
FSD has now published guidelines on how to process qualitative data files in a manner that facilitates data management during the research process as well as subsequent data sharing and archiving.
(12 February 2014)
Follow-up on parliamentary elections 2011
FSD2630, a survey studying voting behaviour in the 2011 Finnish parliamentary elections, is now available in English. The follow-up data were collected just after the elections.
(25 November 2013)
Funding for infrastructure
The Academy of Finland has granted the Finnish Social Science Data Archive 900,000 euros for the period of 1 January 2014–31 December 2015. The funding decision was based on the proposal FSD had submitted to the Update of Finland’s national roadmap for research infrastructures (FIRI) call. At the same time, the Academy chose FSD as one of the infrastructures to be included in the updated national roadmap.
The new project aims to improve FSD services and functionalities so that FSD can act as a national service provider in the recently established European-wide CESSDA research infrastructure. One of the main aims is to extend the data archive's national mandate to health and behavioral sciences as well as to humanities. The archive will offer these disciplines the existing data service model with enhanced services. In the case of health sciences, the project will conduct a pilot on archiving a longitudinal health study.
All FSD's online services will be unavailable the whole day Saturday October 26 (8am-8pm local time) due to scheduled maintenance and hardware installation at the archive. In addition during Sunday October 27 a number of shorter service breaks (10 to 30 minutes) are expected to occur between 8am-8pm local time. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
(16 October 2013)
Changes in the dissemination of international data series
Eurobarometers, Flash Eurobarometers and ISSP datasets can be downloaded free of charge from the GESIS data portal ZACAT, or through the GESIS Data Catalogue (DBK), both of which require registration. The ZACAT registration is valid for DBK and vice versa. The GESIS website contains diverse information on the datasets, such as questionnaires by country and codebooks.
The FSD will continue to provide data descriptions of these data series in Finnish. Very succinct data descriptions in English will also continue be provided.
(10 June 2013)
Summer 2013 opening hours
The Data Archive's information service is open the whole summer. However, due to staff holidays delays in deliveries are possible in July.
For more information, please contact our information service at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +358 40 190 1432.
(7 June 2013)
Online services unavailable
FSD's online services will be unavailable between 7:30 - 12:00 local time on Monday 27 May due to electrical installation work at the archive.
(17 May 2013)
The new dissemination service Aila will replace the previous access control system based on paper forms. Aila will allow users to search and browse data and metadata online, and download data for research and educational purposes. See a separate information bulletin for more information on Aila.
(25 April 2013)
New Bulletin published
FSD Bulletin 36 (3/2012) is now published. The main theme of the issue is health data.
(5 February 2013)
Following a Research Infrastructures call (FIRI 2012), the Academy of Finland has granted FSD 360,000 Euros to build up tools and services needed for the full membership in the forthcoming CESSDA ERIC. The main aim of the VERIC project is to build a new database and tools for metadata capture, storage and repurposing. Another aim is to cooperate with Statistics Finland to enhance metadata interoperability.
(22 January, 2013)
FSD statistics for the year 2012
The year 2012 proved to be a busy one for FSD. Altogether, 688 datasets were disseminated to users, which signifies an increase of 30 per cent when compared with last year. The somewhat unexpected outcome of the Finnish parliamentary elections in 2011 had an impact on research as well: Finnish National Election Study 2011 headed the list of most requested datasets, both among users in Finland and abroad. Other elections studies were also much in demand. Of qualitative data, Parenthood after Divorce 2011-2012 was the most popular one.
The number of data acquisitions was 109, and FSD collections now comprise over 1,300 datasets. As for the website, page requests continued to increase from the year 2011, when they rose to over a million for the first time.
(21 January, 2013)
Longitudinal Data on Corporal Punishment of Children
FSD has published a series of datasets charting the attitudes of Finns towards the corporal punishment of children. The series, titled Attitudes towards Corporal Punishment of Children in Finland, includes data collected in the years 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012. Questions cover, among others, the use and intentions of using corporal punishment, views on the acceptability of corporal punishment against children, things that constitute a threat to the good life for children and the legal status of corporal punishment.
The data are available for research and study purposes and the archive translates the data into English on request at no cost.
» Archived data in the series (19 October, 2012)
Centre for Gender Equality Information transfers to THL
The CESSDA Expert Seminar (CES) 2012 will be hosted by the Finnish Social Science Data Archive in Tampere, Finland, from Thursday to Friday 4–5 October, 2012. The pre-seminar get-together will take place on Wednesday evening.
The topic of the 2012 seminar is "Data Acquisition and License Agreements". We are inviting presentations and talks on all aspects of the acquisition process. The idea is to share and learn from difficult as well as successful experiences that we all have in data acquisition, and to discuss how to make the acquisition process smooth and satisfactory to all parties.
FSD has now published the Finnish National Election Study 2011 (FSD2653). Questions cover political participation, political attitudes, party support, candidate and party choice and voting behaviour. The Finnish parliamentary elections, held in April 2011, had a suprising outcome with a landslide victory for the eurosceptic and anti-immigration True Finns party.
The data have been translated into English and are available for research and study purposes.
» Study description (30 March, 2012)
New website for FSD launched
FSD launched its redesigned website today. The site now reflects the visual identity used in our printed material since last August.
During the transition period short interruptions in our web services are possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We are working to get potential glitches sorted out as soon as possible.
The old web design dated back to 2004. It had served us well but we believe it was time to change. With this new design we hope to make our online services more easily available. Some of the current content has been regrouped and all pages now have a secondary side navigation panel. As a result, some old links are now broken. Most notably, the URLs of the main site and the FSD Bulletin now have two-letter language identifiers (fi/ sv/ or en/). In most cases, we will redirect users to new locations but a number of pages have been permanently removed or integrated with other resources. The number of broken links may initially be higher right after the launch but we are working on to correct them.
Our new logo and visual identity were designed by Redflow Inc. while the inhouse web team is responsible for all the changes in the structure and content.
FSD will launch its redesigned website in March (week 12). With this new design we hope to make data and services more easily available and make archive's webpages easy to read and navigate. Due to configuration changes some downtime and short interruptions in services are to be expected. Many of the URLs will change too. For example the data catalogue will move to a new URL. We are doing our best to make the transition as smooth as possible.
(6 March, 2012)
For the first time ever, FSD web pages received over a million page requests in a year. 110 datasets were deposited at the archive. FSD collections now comprise about 1,200 datasets, of which more than 150 are qualitative data. The number of archived datasets disseminated to users was 527. The most frequently requested data was Eva Survey on Finnish Values and Attitudes 2010. As for qualitative data, the most popular one was Women and War 1987 - 1988, a study on Finnish women's experiences and memories of the WWII.
(21 February, 2012)
Longitudinal data on working conditions in Finland
FSD collections now include Finnish Working Life Barometers
which provide an excellent opportunity for for studying changes in working life over time. Data have been collected annually since 1992.
The surveys study employee opinions on the quality of Finnish working life, with most questions repeated each year. Some of the surveys
are already available in English and and more are translated on request.
(20 February, 2012)
FSD has replaced its previous search engine by the Google customized search engine. We are hoping that the new search will be more user-friendly and produce more accurate hits. It is still possible to target your search to all FSD pages or only the data pages, or restrict your search to particular a file format. You can also choose different tabs to view the search results for a particular category of pages. Should you wish to do a more detailed search of data, for example, narrow down your search to titles, variables or question texts, you can do so with the Nesstar search interface.
More information on search and search instructions.
(25 January 2011)
Following a Research Infrastructures call (FIRI 2010), the Academy of Finland has awarded funding for FSD to upgrade its national services and to meet the requirements of an international RI (CESSDA-ERIC). CESSDA-ERIC is planned to start operating in late 2011. In order to meet the criteria of full membership, FSD needs to extend and strenghten many of its services.
After the upgrade, the scientific community will have much easier access to FSD data holdings with online registration and data download, better documented data from a wider range of research fields, and benefits from a better management of complex data. Other goals include research on costs, preservation and sharing of digital research data, and the provision of training material and courses on data management to the Finnish research community. The five-year project was awarded over a million euros.
More information: Project description.
(15 December 2010)
The Data Archive's information service is open the whole summer. However, due to staff holidays delays in deliveries are possible in July.
The Centre for Gender Equality Information Minna is closed from 28 June to 30 July.
For more information, please contact our information service at email@example.com or by calling +358 40 190 1432.
(30 June 2010)
The telephone numbers of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive have changed, because the Archive switched from landline to mobile phones in June. New numbers are updated on the web site. Fax number of the Archive did not change.
(22 June 2009)
The Data Archive will move in July: Our website will be down and customer services closed from July 6 to 10, 2009
The Finnish Social Science Data Archive will move on Tuesday July 7, 2009 to Åkerlundinkatu 5. Our new building is located right behind the University Library Linna. All our services will be closed from July 6-10, 2009. Our website and other online services are expected to be down too from July 6-8.
The telephone numbers of the Data Archive will change too. New numbers will be announced later (see contact information). Old numbers should work for the time being. The Data Archive's postal address and staff's email addresses do not change. Email will be functioning normally during the move, but there will delays in responses.
The FSD has published guidelines for and concrete examples of data management planning, both for quantitative and qualitative data. Nowadays, several funders require researchers to append a data management plan to their research plan. A data management plan describes how research data will be collected, how the data will be used and stored during the research project, and how its reuse will be enabled and long-term preservation ensured after the original research is completed.
Online Registration to the IASSIST/IFDO 2009 conference has now been opened. The conference will be held at Tampere, Finland, 26-29 May, and is hosted by the Finnish Social Science Data Archive and the University of Tampere. The theme of the conference is Mobile Data and the Life Cycle.
To secure accommodation of your choice, we recommend registering as early as possible. Early Bird rate is valid until March 24.
More information on the conference website.
(12 February 2009)
The FSD has published guidelines for anonymisation of data, both for quantitative and qualitative data. Though compliant with the Finnish legislation, the guidelines contain general tips and instructions, and may thus be useful to researchers and data depositors from other countries.
The data archive's servers will be renewed between 7th and 11th January 2009. The transition to the new system may cause short breaks in our services. Our website may be down occasionally and data delivery might be delayed. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
(17 December 2008)
Our information service is open the whole summer. However, due to staff holidays delays in deliveries are possible in late June, July and August. For more information, please contact our information service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(19 May 2008)
The FSD has now published the combined data files of the popular Finnish Voter Barometer series. FSD2276 contains the surveys from the years 1973 - 1990, and FSD2274 contains the years 1992 - 2005. More surveys will be added to the latter file as time goes on. The data have been translated into English, they are available at no cost for research purposes, and the codebooks can be read online.
(18 February 2008)
The Council of European Social Science Data Archives Research Infrastructure (CESSDA RI) was identified in 2006 by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Roadmap exercise as an existing pan-European RI recommended for a major upgrade. The preparatory phase project for a major upgrade of the CESSDA RI has now been granted funding by the EC from its Seventh Framework Programme. The two-year project, the acronym of which is CESSDA PPP, was launched in January. 17 European data archives, including the FSD, participate in the project. » More information (18 February 2008)
The IASSIST 2009 Conference will be held in Tampere, Finland. It will be the 35th annual conference held by the IASSIST (International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology). Over 200 experts on data archiving, documentation and dissemination are expected to come to Tampere in May 2009. This will be the first time the conference is held in Finland.
The FSD is offering new ways for you to find relevant data sets: our data catalogue can now be browsed by number, title, topic, keyword, or series. Another change is that the data catalogue has been divided into two main parts. The first part contains information on data that are archived at the FSD, and distributed by the archive. The second contains documentation on data that are held elsewhere, with information on access place and distributor. Data catalogue (date missing)
Our information service is open the whole summer. However, due to staff holidays delays in deliveries are possible in July. For more information, please contact our information service at email@example.com.
(14 June 2006)
The telephone numbers of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive changed 30 May 2005, because the number of University telephone exchange was changed. The previous (03) 215 prefix was replaced by (03) 3551. For example, the FSD's service numbers have changed as follows:
Redesigned access and agreement forms are available in various formats. The new forms are shorter and clearer than the previous versions and should thus facilitate the archiving process.
(5 January 2005)
FSD will launch its redesigned website on April 16th, 2004. With this new design the FSD hopes to make data more easily available and make archive's webpages easy to read and navigate.
(23 March 2004)
FSDneWWs 13 (1/2004) now available in English.
(3 March 2004)