FSD Bulletin

Issue 33 (2/2011)

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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Editorial: FSD Upgrade 2015

Sami Borg

For some years now, European research infrastructures have been developed in the ESFRI process. The Roadmap for pan-European research infrastructures was first published in 2006 and has already been updated twice. Alongside this process, European countries have been developing their own national infrastructure roadmaps.

Finland mapped its own research infrastructures about two years ago, with the final report being published in February 2010. The Ministry of Education and Culture estimated that the additional costs of implementing the roadmap would amount to approximately €30 million per year, while the annual costs of already established national and international infrastructures were €160 million. The ministry also recommended that a national level research council would be set up.

No research council has yet been established but infrastructure funding has been allocated. The Academy of Finland granted 10 million euro to a total of 26 projects at the end of 2010. The infrastructure call was targeted at universities which were asked to provide a priority list of the projects they were proposing. Unfortunately, the allocation of funding through universities left at disadvantage some major infrastructures which are not connected to any particular university. A research council would be needed to chart and develop national level infrastructures for all Finnish universities and research organizations.

The infrastructure proposal submitted by the Finnish Social Science Data Archive was successful, receiving a grant of one million euro. The archive provides national level services but is organisationally an independent unit of the University of Tampere. Our chances of success would have been much less if the University of Tampere had not placed our proposal first on its own priority list.

The funding allows us to upgrade our services to meet the membership criteria of the CESSDA European Research Infrastructure (CESSDA ERIC). In the near future, online registration and data download will become possible. The archive aims to extend its scope, providing data from a wider range of research fields, including health and educational sciences, psychology, cultural research and history. Other goals include better management of complex data and research on standards and cost models of archiving.