Guides, Examples and Vocabularies

FSD's Guidelines in DMPTuuli

DMPTuuli is a data management planning tool for Finnish research organisations. It provides templates and guidance for making a data management plan (DMP).

Use DMPTuuli to check the requirements and guidance given by different research funders and research organisations. The tool will help you to create your own DMP according to predefined templates, requirements and guidance that pertain to your research.

The following recommendations are FSD's DMPTuuli guidelines for research projects planning to archive their data to the FSD. Guidelines are organised according to the DMP guiding questions in the Academy of Finland September 2016 Call. Please note that your organisation may also have incorporated it's own guidance and requirements in DMPTuuli.

Questions to answer:
» What types of data will the project collect or use?
» What file format will be used?
» What metadata standard will be used?
» How will ethical issues concerning data management be taken into account?
» How will copyright and IPR issues be managed?
» How will the data be made available for subsequent use by other researchers?
» With which collaborators will the data be managed and made openly available?

What types of data will the project collect or use?

Themes: Data Capture Methods, Data Description, Data Type

Describe briefly what kind of data will be collected and how they will be collected. Outline the type(s) of data (e.g. survey, interview, observation, face-to-face focus group, self-administered writings/diaries, photographs, news articles etc.) and estimate the foreseeable amount/volume of each datatype. Describe also any existing data you will reuse.

Tips for best practices

  • By reusing data, produced by you or others, you will avoid doing the work twice.
  • Check Aila Data Service Portal to browse and search for available data.

What file format will be used?

Themes: Data Format

File format is a primary factor in accessing and reusing your data in the future. List the file formats you use to save the data, such as CSV, TXT or MP3.

Tips for best practices

  • Check the digital file formats used at the FSD for different types of data.
  • Be aware that some statistical formats impose restrictions on the handling of missing information, the number of variables, the length of variable names, and characters allowed in variable and value labels.
  • Do not include content or structural information in data files by formatting the text (i.e. using doc-format for bolding or italicization) because formatting disappears in conversions to other formats. If formatting is indispensable to understand the data, use the PDF/A file format.

What metadata standard will be used?

Themes: Metadata

Detailed documentation of data contains information on the topic and authors/creators of the data, sampling and data collection methods, and target population, time period and geographic coverage of the data. The FSD requires a completed Dataset Description Form for research data that will be deposited to the Archive. For qualitative data the form is available in Finnish (Tutkimusaineiston kuvauslomake).

The Archive will do the final documentation of archived datasets by using DDI metadata standard.

Tips for best practices with quantitative data

  • Create a detailed document that explain terms, variable names and labels, and abbreviations used.
  • Save one empty copy of the questionnaire. If you create a web-based/computer-assisted questionnaire, save the questions and response alternatives in a text file in the order they are presented to the respondents.
  • If the data are created by using source information (books, registers etc.), list the data sources and describe their selection method and define the variables that are used.

Tips for best practices with qualitative data

  • Separately preserve all the documents that refer to or have affected the data. These may include interview questions, writing instructions, transcription methods used and information sheets given to research participants.
  • Documentation of each data unit (e.g. an interview, a text written by a participant, a newspaper article) is necessary to enable archiving and reuse of the data. See the guidelines for Documenting background information.
  • See the guidelines for Documenting newspaper articles

Themes: Data Quality

Describe procedures for ensuring data quality during the project. Technical and content decisions made at data entry stage influence the quality of data. Solutions chosen for post-collection processing also have an impact on data quality.

Tips for best practices

  • Systematic and consistent naming of data files facilitates data management during research as well as data archiving and reuse.
  • Check the FSD's guidelines for Naming and managing quantitative data files and the guidelines for Naming qualitative files.
  • Always test the technical instruments and equipment before collecting data.
  • Be systematic and consistent when transcribing data even if you feel that you will only need parts of the data.
  • When recoding variables, use statistical software and, if possible, consider recoding the variables by using syntax.
  • Be consistent in determining values for missing data and 'can't say' type of responses.
  • Check the guidelines for Processing Quantitative Data Files and the guidelines for Processing Qualitative Data Files.

How will ethical issues concerning data management be taken into account?

Themes: Ethical issues

All human subject research must adhere to research ethical principles and data protection legislation. It is essential to carefully plan the information sheets, the procedures of obtaining informed consent from participants, and the anonymisation of data. It is also very important to inform research participants about the fact that the data will be archived.

Tips for best practices

Themes: IPR Ownership and Licencing

When data are collected and created by researchers, original creators retain the ownership, copyright and related intellectual rights to the deposited dataset, while the archive has the right to preserve and disseminate the data. The terms and conditions for the deposition and reuse of the data are specified in the deposit agreement. The FSD requires that authors are specified for each archived dataset. Authors are the persons responsible for the substantive and intellectual content of the data.

The FSD has an agreement with the Kopiosto Copyright Society, which is an umbrella organisation for associations representing performing artists, authors and publishers. The agreement allows FSD to archive material collected by researchers for their research but created by others. This agreement applies to digital or digitalised newspaper and magazine material as well as photographs, but not to audiovisual material or music.

Tips for best practices

How will the data be made available for subsequent use by other researchers?

Themes: Method for Data Sharing, Restrictions on Sharing

Mention whether you wish all of your data to be shared or whether you want to share the data only partially. Explain if your data or part of it cannot be shared and give your reasons for this. The reasons might include confidentiality issues, trade secrets or contracts (e.g. restricted registries used as data). Sometimes data cannot be shared due to unreasonable effort required by data sharing (e.g. legacy data or large volumes of analogical data).

Tips for best practices

  • Consider data sharing during and after the research project.
  • Make a plan and timetable for removing identifiers and parts of data that are not suitable for long term-preservation and sharing.
  • If you do not intend to share your data during the original research project, mention which parts of your data will be disseminated by the FSD after the completion of the project.

With which collaborators will the data be managed and made openly available?

Themes: Preservation Plan, Collaboration

Data selected for long-term preservation can be deposited to the FSD, which provides services for archiving, preserving and disseminating data. The FSD processes datasets for reuse, and takes care of access applications and delivery. The FSD has received the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) certificate, which is awarded to a trusted data archive whose practices in preserving and processing research data have been found to be sound and transparent. The FSD assigns persistent URN identifiers (PIDs) to all archived datasets.

Links for further information

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updated 2016-08-24