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Number 11 (2/2003)


Guides and Handbooks for Secondary Research

Sami Borg    9.5.2003

FSD's strategy for the years 2004-2006 has been published. It emphasizes the need for different types of publications and practical information packages for people who collect and use social science data. The experience of FSD is that secondary use of research material is too often impossible if data collection has been inadequate in terms of providing informed consent of survey respondents, or if the data is poorly documented.

New printed and electronic information material will cover the whole life cycle of research data: the focus will be on planning, collecting, analysing, storing, archiving and reusing data. All these stages involve various operational and juridical issues which should be managed better than they generally are at the moment.

We also wish that post graduate courses on quantitative research methods could focus on the requirements of good scientific data practice more that they do today. Whenever possible, all data should be collected and documented so that it can be used by the scientific community for further research. Senior researchers might also benefit from further learning in this field.

In the next few years, FSD will produce several guides and handbooks with this focus. To be able to do this successfully, FSD is also looking for collaboration with, for example, the Academy of Finland, National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES) and National Advisory Board on Research Ethics.

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