Data Archive Improved Its Information Services and Visibility
Extracts from the annual report 2007
There were over 700 quantitative and about 90 qualitative datasets stored in the data archive at the end of 2007. The total number of archived datasets amounted to over 800. The number of datasets disseminated for reuse was slightly lower than in the previous year.
The number of archived datasets has steadily increased year after year. Last year altogether 82 datasets were deposited in the archive. Most of them are fresh surveys collected in the 2000s. Unfortunately, only a small proportion of datasets collected before the 1990s has survived in readable format. Less than one fifth of the archived datasets have been collected in the 1980s or before.
This year the data archive focused on promotion and publicity. Spokesperson Päivi Vännilä was kept busy providing information on the FSD's own as well as international archiving services. New channels for distributing information were found and more publicity material was produced. A new brochure targeted at students was also designed.
Online dissemination of data changes reuse
Although the number of disseminated datasets decreased, the data archive received more access applications than in 2006. Therefore, the user base has not declined. The reason behind the decrease in the number of disseminated datasets is that international datasets are now available through new online services where users can analyse and even download the data. We do not systematically receive information on the number of Finnish users utilising the services of other data archives.
University students and teachers are an important customer group for the FSD. The majority of the disseminated datasets are ordered for Master's theses, other studies and teaching. Of all organisations, the University of Helsinki and the University of Turku ordered the most datasets.
Web traffic increased
The number of visitors accessing FSD's web pages has increased year after year. Our server logs show that web traffic increased by over 100,000 visitors last year. The Vaalimaatti 2007 election database published before the Parliamentary elections explains the increase only partially.
Last year the data archive introduced the Finnish party agenda database POHTIVA. All the party agendas in the Vaalimaatti election database are also included in POHTIVA. POHTIVA has had approximately 1,500 page views per week since last August.
The freely available training datasets had 4,500 downloads last year, which is slightly less than in the previous year.
Data archive continued its internationalisation
International cooperation is vital for data archives. Last year CESSDA, the umbrella organisation for European social science data archives, received funding from the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for its preparatory phase project (CESSDA-PPP). The FSD participates in the project with the objective of promoting Finnish research and increasing its international visibility. In addition, the FSD takes part in funding several research series and data infrastructures.