FSD Bulletin

Issue 27 (2/2009)

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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Main Message of Unchecked E-mail

Sami Borg

After summer holidays, it can take a while for many to check all their unread e-mails. I usually reply to the most urgent ones even on holiday, but there is still plenty to go through for the first couple of work days. In the face of it, the job might feel painfully tedious, although several messages can be handled fairly quickly.

On the other hand, the subject listing of unchecked e-mails from a longer period of time can nicely bring out some basic things every now and then - such as the proportion of core tasks, existing networks, and ongoing projects in one's job. In the last couple of years and especially after holidays, I have begun to feel that the networks of people interested in research data have substantially grown stronger. The preservation of digital research data attracts interest in Finland now more than ever before.

This year Finland has again seen and will still see several events related to the collection, preservation and use of research data. This issue of Tietoarkisto reviews the IASSIST 2009 conference hosted by the FSD. The series of conferences and seminars in the field will continue in the coming autumn and next year in Finland. The topics of these events will have a broader scope than just social sciences and humanities.

The Ministry of Education has set up a central and very necessary form of research data activity in the form of a cross-functional survey project. The project will be conducted by CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd. with the help of a steering group, and it aims to map and co-ordinate the better utilisation of electronic data materials and resources generated with public funds in Finland.

The authorities' broad support of increasing open, effective and informed use of existing research data is very welcome. In the first place, the ones who are ultimately responsible for increasing openness are data collectors. In the social sciences and humanities, it is especially crucial to pay attention to matters that support the long life cycle of research data while collecting the material.