Guidelines for Depositing Data

When you are planning to deposit your digital data for archiving, contact our User Services as soon as possible so we can provide you with the best possible information on archiving your data. This page contains general tips and instructions for anyone planning to deposit their data.

Make sure your data are suitable for FSD

FSD accepts both quantitative (numerical) or qualitative (i.e. text, speech, or visual images) data. A prerequisite for archiving is that the data can be reused at least for research purposes. We also gladly accept data that are suitable both for research purposes as well as teaching and study purposes.

Examples of data suitable for archiving at FSD:

  • statistical data recorded in a data matrix (most typically data based on surveys)
  • transcripts of interviews, group interviews or different interaction situations
  • data authored by research subjects (diaries, thematic texts etc.)
  • pictures taken by a researcher or research subjects (see agreement concerning the transfer of rights)
  • articles and pictures in newspapers/magazines, illustrations, comics (agreement between FSD and Kopiosto Copyright Society covers Finnish and foreign material)
  • archived data digitised or digitally photographed by a researcher for research purposes with sufficient bibliographical information

Once the data has been collected directly from the people being studied, they must be clearly informed about the archiving of the material for further use. If several different documents are used, they must not contain conflicting information about the life cycle of the data. See guidelines for Informing research participants about archiving.

We archive datasets in Finnish, English and Swedish. In some cases, we may consider archiving data in other languages as well. Please contact FSD User Services before data collection begins.

FSD does not archive audiovisual material. In Finland, audiovisual material are archived and disseminated for further research by the Language Bank of Finland. If you are planning to collect audiovisual material in your research or already have such material that you wish to archive for data sharing, contact the Language Bank (Opens in a new tab) .

Data collected for a Master's thesis may be archived, but only if the data are extensive enough to be used for comparative research, teaching research methods, or new research.

More information on FSD's selection criteria: Records Management and Archives Formation Plan: Data acquisition and selection criteria.

Remove identifiers

Identifiers must always be removed from data to be deposited, according to the instructions provided by FSD. This requirement is based on the EU Data Protection Regulation and the Finnish Data Protection Act.

Detailed instructions on removing identifiers from research data can be found in the chapter on Anonymisation and Personal Data in the Data Management Guidelines.

If necessary, FSD can help the researcher with anonymisation planning. During the depositing process, FSD evaluates the anonymisation made by the researcher and deletes remaining identifiers from the data if needed.

Anonymisation should be irreversible. Therefore, the researcher should delete his/her own data files containing personal data after the archiving is completed.

Suggest material to be archived

Have you collected research data? Or are you aware of some other quantitative or qualitative data which should be archived at FSD? Make a suggestion by filling in the following form.

Suggest material to be archived (Opens in a new tab)

Arrangements for the deposit

Before the deposit, you and the data archive will sign an Archiving Agreement. The agreement covers the statutory requirements for data transfer in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, including cases where the data may still contain personal data. The agreement ensures the statutory requirements for the deposit as well as both parties ability to demonstrate accountability in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Archiving Agreement (Opens in a new tab) PDF

Some of the terms used in the Archiving Agreement have been defined in a separate Glossary.

For the agreement to have the force of law, FSD will ask you for the information regarding the data controller of research data, types of personal data, and categories of data subjects in the data. See below:

  1. Data controller? You will find name and contact information of the data controller in the privacy notice for the study. If you do not know who the data controller is, ask the data protection officer of your organisation. If you are a student and you have collected the data yourself for e.g. a thesis, you are the data controller.
  2. Types of personal data? This means all types of identifiers and background information concerning the people in your data. E.g. information regarding age, gender, work, education and place of residence.
  3. Categories of data subjects? This means the target population of the data. E.g. "Finnish persons aged 18-25 studying to become Bachelors of Business Administration". The study can also include multiple categories: "Schoolchildren in grades 7-9 in the Tampere region and their parents".

FSD reserves the right to make the final decision to archive the data only after we have received the data and assessed their suitability for archiving as well as evaluated which access conditions are the most suitable for the data.

Depositing your data at FSD

Depositing a dataset can be done on Aila Data Service, where the data file(s) and data description as well as other material, such as the questionnaire, coding instructions and interview questions, can be transferred to FSD securely. The deposit tool is currently only available in Finnish, but step-by-step instructions for depositing are available in English. If you wish to deposit a dataset, contact our User Services who will guide you in transferring the files to FSD.

Depositing data through Aila