Introduction to Aila Data Service


Aila Data Service provides access to data archived at the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. You can browse and search study descriptions and variables in Finnish and English, and download data easily and free of charge.

In Aila, data archived at the FSD are available to registered users, in accordance with the conditions set for each dataset. There are also some open access datasets that can be downloaded without registration.

Datasets can be downloaded one at a time on their respective data description page. When downloading a dataset, users fill in an access application form, providing information on the purpose of data use, their research or study, and information on funders, if any. By downloading data from Aila, users accept and agree to the terms and conditions set out for the use of the downloaded data.

Availability of data

Archived datasets are mainly available for research, teaching and study purposes. In some cases access requires special permission. Data descriptions in the Aila data catalogue can be sorted by availability status.

By research we refer to work in which answers to research questions are sought through systematic analysis of data and application of the research methods of the field, and which is carried out in universities, research institutes or other equivalent organisations. Teaching in this context refers to courses in a university, university of applied sciences or equivalent organisation. Study refers to studies under the supervision of a teacher, lecturer etc. in a university, university of applied sciences or equivalent organisation.

Students or members of staff in Finnish universities, polytechnics or research institutes can register with Aila using their personal username and password issued to them by their institution (HAKA authentication). Other users will apply for username and password through FSD User Services.

Data for students

Students can download data from Aila for projects, seminar papers and theses after registering as a user. Datasets whose availability is marked as being available for all users without registration (A) or available for research, teaching and study (B) can be used for study purposes.

Storing and disposing of data

When storing and using data, users must ensure adequate information and data security as well as the privacy of persons and actors mentioned in the data. The dataset must not be accessible by outsiders. Possible data-specific restrictions are always to be respected.

Data may only be used for the purpose stated. If the user wishes to use the dataset for some other purpose, a new permission for access must be requested from FSD User Services. After the dataset is no longer needed for the purpose stated, it must be securely disposed of.

Terms and conditions

Access granted to a dataset is personal. The FSD has the right to close the user account of any user who has breached the terms and notify the user's home organisation and research funders of the breach.

Data translations into English

The data archive provides study descriptions of archived data both in Finnish and English. Quantitative data (questions and response alternatives) are translated into English on request, free of charge, for users who do not speak Finnish. Qualitative data are available in their original language only. Many quantitative datasets have already been translated and are available in English on Aila.

Data catalogue

There are over 1,100 datasets, over 950 of which are quantitative, archived at the FSD. Up-to-date data catalogue can be found on Aila.

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