FSD services and data used more than ever before
Use of the FSD’s flagship service, Aila Data Portal, increased by leaps and bounds in 2016. Users downloaded 25% more data than in the previous year. Compared to the time before the launch of Aila in 2014, use of data archived at the FSD has grown fourfold. A total of 2,835 individual data downloads were made in 2016.
There was also an increase in the page loads of the FSD website. As in the previous years, Research Methods Web Resource was visited the most.
Over sixty new datasets added
At the end of the year, there were 1,270 datasets listed in Aila Data Service. Out of these, 14% were qualitative. Most of the data were available for research, teaching and study purposes. By the end of the year, 59 datasets were openly accessible by all users without registration.
During the year, 60 quantitative and 12 qualitative datasets were processed and added to the data catalogue. Additionally, 60 new datasets were acquired for archiving. The FSD also started archiving data with persistent identifiers (PIDs).
In addition to ordinary archival work, FSD staff responsible for data processing went through all data descriptions in the catalogue to ensure their consistency. Qualitative data are now easier to find with search engines thanks to a new process that was implemented to create separate description files based on the questions and themes in the data.
Two new services and one complete overhaul
In the spring of 2016, students of computer science at the University of Tampere updated the political party agenda database POHTIVA. The service was given a new appearance, improved search features and a completely new user interface. The new service can also be used effortlessly on mobile devices.
In autumn, another group of students were commissioned to develop an online tool, Penna, for collecting textual data. The tool will be launched in the second half of 2017 and it will greatly facilitate collecting qualitative text data. Managing the metadata of these kind of data will become easier during the archiving process as well.
In December 2016, development of Tietomilli, a service enabling simple analyses and comparisons of public opinion survey data online, was completed. The service is primarily aimed at Finnish-speaking pupils in primary and secondary schools, and it contains distributions of responses to over 800 questions presented in ISSP surveys and National Election Studies.
Expansion of services to new fields
The FSD organized several training sessions and seminars throughout the year — some of them as the sole organizer and some jointly with partner organizations. Topics of the seminars ranged from research data management to data protection and privacy. Many of the seminars were aimed at the FSD’s "new fields", namely the humanities and health and medical sciences.
A report was published on the survey conducted by the FSD, which targeted at researchers in the humanities and health sciences. The theme of the printed Data Archive magazine in 2016 was archiving from the perspective of health research.
Awards for advancing data archiving and reuse
In 2016, the FSD presented two awards and an honourable mention. Research Professor Pasi Moisio at the National Institute for Health and Welfare was awarded the Data Management Award, which is presented annually to a person, research group or organization in recognition of exemplary data management and attention given to data lifecycle when collecting, processing and archiving data.
An honourable mention for data management was also presented in 2016, to Researcher Josefina Sipinen from the School of Management at the University of Tampere.
The Promoter of Data Archiving Award was presented again after a year’s break. It was awarded to the now retired, former director of the Swedish National Data Service and the Danish Data Archive Hans Jørgen Marker, who has had a significant role in the development of CESSDA, among other things.