FSD Bulletin

Issue 28 (3/2009)
25.11.2009

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.


FSD

Finnish Social Science Data Archive
Tel: +358 40 190 1432
Fax: +358 3 343 9088
E-mail: fsd@uta.fi

In Brief

» Findicator - The Development of Finnish Society in Numbers
» What's New in Research Methods Web Resource (MOTV)?
» Guidelines for Research Data Management
» Academy of Finland Recommends Archiving


Findicator - The Development of Finnish Society in Numbers

The new information service Findicator (Findikaattori.fi) was opened online in mid-October. It offers up-to-date data on the progress of Finnish society with about 100 indicators describing different areas of life. Findicator is a joint effort of Statistics Finland and the Prime Minister's Office, aiming at improving the availability and accessibility of indicator-type statistical data.

The service is targeted to a wide range of users. An important target group are politicians and their assistants, who have experienced problems in finding the information they need among the masses of data on offer nowadays.

The graphs and tables of Findicator are automatically updated from the database soon after the new information is published by data producers. The users do not need to know who produces the data they seek. Instead, they can search for the topic in the service. Earlier, the users have had to know the data producers and access their web services or printed publications.

Most Recent Information Thematised

The data in Findicator are grouped according to themes and policy issues discussed in the Government Programme. Each indicator includes the most recent statistics as a graph, an analysis text and a table. Additionally, each indicator page contains links to international comparison data (e.g. OECD) and other related information. "Findicator displays graphs better than any other service", says Ulla Rosenström, Project Manager at the Policy-analysis Unit of the Prime Minister's Office.

At the core of the service is the database distribution software Verti already utilised in Statistics Finland. It produces the automatically updated graphs and quality statistics in the service. The data can easily be downloaded as images, text, or tables. The data producer must be cited as the source of information when re-using data from Findicator.

From FSD to Findicator

The Finnish Social Science Data Archive produces the data for the indicator describing the Finns' willingness to defend their country in Findicator. Willingness to defend the country is studied in the ABDI (Advisory Board for Defence Information) surveys, which are archived at the FSD right after the publication of the research reports.

More information:
» Findicator (in Finnish)

What's New in Research Methods Web Resource (MOTV)?

Year after year, the Research Methods Web Resource (MOTV) has been the most popular section of the FSD website. It consists of QuantiMOTV and QualiMOTV - the web resources for quantitative and qualitative methods, respectively. QuantiMOTV includes a method section in hypertext format, an integrated SPSS learning environment, exercises, and freely downloadable datasets for rehearsing, whereas QualiMOTV contains theory, exemplar datasets, and analysis examples.

The layout of QuantiMOTV was renewed last year. At the same time, the majority of the SPSS learning environment was updated to correspond with the software version 15. This year, the number of datasets for rehearsing was increased and new exercises were added.

Because of user requests, both parts of the Web Resource will be published as separate pdf versions this autumn. The versions will cover the central contents of the web resource, and they will be available online free of charge.

The Research Methods Web Resource is an open learning environment and accessible to all. It is best suited for introductory methodology courses, for learning and repeating the basics. Several parts of the Web Resource are also well suited for self-studying for advanced learners.

The Research Methods Web Resource is also freely available for teaching purposes. However, the FSD wishes the teachers to fill out a notice of use once in an academic year. The notice can be found on the Web Resource website. In publications, web pages are cited the same way as printed sources.

More information:
» Research Methods Web Resource (MOTV)

Guidelines for Research Data Management

The FSD has published guidelines for research data management in Finnish. It advises researchers in the management of digital research data in the different phases of the data life cycle. If a research project produces, processes, documents, and stores the data according to the guidelines, the utility value of the data will increase and the expenses for long-term preservation will be substantially lower. The contents of the guidelines are largely based on the practices and experiences of the FSD, and a great number of practical examples and models are also included.

The FSD has also published shorter guidelines for data management planning (both for quantitative and qualitative data) with concrete examples in English.

More information:
» Data Management Planning
» Guidelines for Research Data Management (in Finnish)
» Managing and Sharing Data - A Best Practice Guide for Researchers (UKDA)

Academy of Finland Recommends Archiving

The Academy of Finland recommends that the research projects funded by the Academy deliver the research data they have collected to the FSD. It is worthwhile to mention about archiving already in the data management plan included in the research plan.

More information:
» General Application Guidelines of the Academy of Finland