Information Service

FSD User Services offer personal guidance on the use of FSD services.

Guidance and help free of charge

FSD provides advice and guidance in searching and using research data. Our free-of-charge information service can help you with questions related to the data in FSD holdings as well as data management, depositing data at FSD and long-term preservation of data. We will gladly also help you with questions concerning data collection planning, ethical and legal issues, and informing research participants.

You can also ask our User Services personnel for help with information retrieval and locating international data.

FSD User Services

user-services.fsd ( at )
tel. +358 29 452 0411

All customer questions and feedback are stored in our internal database to ensure quick and effective service.

How to locate data suitable for you

Are you looking for data for studying, research or teaching purposes? If you cannot seem to find data suitable for your use, contact our User Services.

Searching is easier when you have answers to the following questions:

  • What is your research question?
  • Who or what is the subject of your research?
  • What are the central themes of your study?
  • Are you looking for quantitative or qualitative data?
  • What sort of interview or survey questions are you looking for?
  • What time period are you interested in?
  • Are you looking for comparative international data?

Indicate also what your timeframe is, i.e. how quickly you need the data. Most of the datasets at FSD are available for use right away according to the terms and conditions set for each dataset, but using some datasets is subject to a permission from the data depositor.

Search queries

Aila Data Service has three search functions: basic search, advanced search and expert search. You can search study descriptions, questions and variables as well as publications based on the data. The results can be narrowed down by the type or availability of data, or by data file language. In addition, you can browse archived data by dataset name, publishing date, keyword, scientific field or series. Some datasets are also grouped into themes on our Data by Theme page.

Search instructions for Aila.

The general search on the FSD website allows you to find FSD’s website content. Data descriptions for datasets archived at FSD can also be found in several joint data catalogues, such as CESSDA Data Catalogue (Opens in a new tab) , Etsin (Opens in a new tab) , Finna (Opens in a new tab) and (Opens in a new tab) .

FSD's data descriptions are also indexed in the Data Citation Index, GoTriple, OpenAIRE and the COVID-19 Data Portal. You can also use Google, Google Scholar or other Internet search engines to search for data, as FSD publishes all data descriptions openly in Aila. The best search results can be obtained by limiting the search to Aila's domain name ( Further search instructions are on Google's pages.

Questionnaires and other materials

Questionnaires, writing instructions, interview questions and other materials used during data collection are attached to the dataset as PDF files.

International comparative data

The International Data page contains information on and links to international comparative research programmes.

Data collected outside of Finland should also be searched ib CESSDA's Data Catalogue (Opens in a new tab) and ICPSR (Opens in a new tab) .