FSD Bulletin

Issue 22 (2/2007)

ISSN 1795-5262

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FSD Bulletin is the electronic newsletter of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. The Bulletin provides information and news related to the data archive and social science research.


Finnish Social Science Data Archive
E-mail: fsd@tuni.fi

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In Brief

» IASSIST 2009 Conference in Finland
» Survey on Access to Digital Research Data
» CESSDA Project to Start in January 2008
» Laura Peutere Winner of The Westermarck Society's Annual Prize
» Student Use of FSD Services in 2006

IASSIST 2009 Conference in Finland

The IASSIST (International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology) will hold its 35th annual conference in Tampere, Finland in 2009. Over 200 experts on data archiving, documentation and dissemination are expected to attend the conference from 26th to 29th May. This will be the first time the IASSIST conference will be held in Finland, and the FSD will host the event.

More information on IASSIST.

Survey on Access to Digital Research Data

Only ten per cent of Finnish university departments have established any guidelines or regulations on the preservation of digital research data. Responsibility for the long-term preservation and dissemination of research data is generally left to the department, or even more frequently, to researchers or research teams themselves. It is only some established, longitudinal research projects which have had the possibility to organise the dissemination of the data for reuse in an appropriate manner.

FSD conducted a survey charting how Finnish universities organise the preservation of digital research data and to what extent the data are reused by the scientific community after the original research has been completed. Questions also covered what proportion of the data collected were reusable at the time of the survey. Opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of open access to data were studied. The respondents were professors of Arts, social sciences and behavioural sciences, and representatives of some research institutes. The idea for the survey came from the OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding, published in 2007.

More information on the survey and the codebook.

CESSDA Project to Start in January 2008

The Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) has been granted funding by the EC to develop research infrastructures identified by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Roadmap. The two-year project will start in January 2008, with the UKDA as lead partner, and the FSD as one of the partners.

Laura Peutere Winner of The Westermarck Society's Annual Prize

Laura Peutere was awarded the Westermarck Society's Annual Prize for the Best Master's Thesis in Sociology in Finland completed in 2006. Her thesis, entitled Working Conditions, Social Capital in the Workplace and Psychological Distress, examined whether psychological symptoms experienced by employees may be dependent on the degree of social capital in the workplace. The thesis was based on two datasets archived at the FSD: Fixed-term and Subsidised Employees in Finnish Municipalities 1998 and 2002, both collected by Pekka Virtanen. The prize awarded to Laura Peutere demonstrates that high quality research is possible using archived data.

Student Use of FSD Services in 2006

Students were a significant user group for the FSD in 2006. About 30 per cent of the data FSD disseminated last year were requested by students. Both qualitative and quantitative datasets were requested, and student users came from 14 different Finnish universities or polytechnics. Data were requested, for example, for seminar papers, and Bachelor's and Master's theses. The most popular individual dataset for requests was FSD1260 Finnish National Election Study 2003. Of the data series, the most popular turned out to be Energy Attitudes of the Finns, EVA Surveys on Finnish Values and Attitudes, ISSP and WVS.