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Number 6 (3/2001)

How and Where to Find Information on Datasets Archived at FSD?

Maria Forsman

You can use a variety of means to locate research data stored at the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD). Try out the following! If you have any questions, please contact us — we'd be happy to help you.

FSD's website

Archived data are described on FSD's www site. Each dataset has a description containing information on, for example, author(s), title, data collectors and producers, data collection processes and the rights of use. In many cases electronic questionnaire forms and frequency files are also included.

The contents of research data are defined with keywords which comply with the standardised protocols - either YSA (general Finnish keyword glossary) included in the VESA web thesaurus, or HASSET, the English-language thesaurus developed by the UK Data Archive. Furthermore, the materials are classified according to the relevant disciplines (topic classifications). Each dataset has a short abstract of its contents.

Data description has information on citation requirements that should be honoured whenever the data in question is used. A list of bibliographical citations indicates where the material has been cited so far.

There is also an easy-to-use search engine on FSD's homepage. Searching can be targeted to all FSD pages or specified to data catalogue.

Library databases TAMCAT and LINDA

Thanks to the co-operation between FSD and the Tampere University Library, all data descriptions are catalogued in LINDA, the common database by Finnish university libraries, and TAMCAT, Tampere University Library's own database. When a researcher uses library database and searches material by, for example, a keyword or a title, he will thus locate both relevant literature and research data archived at FSD. *** Replaced by Finna Information Search in 2014. ***

Nesstar application

Nesstar has been developed in collaboration by three European data archives. It is a web-based application for browsing archived social science research data. In Nesstar, the search can be focused on desired fields, such as keywords or the names of variables.

In addition to FSD, the data archives of Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom are currently taking part in Nesstar. Data can be sought from one or several archives at a time. Nesstar also enables you to perform instant statistical analyses from a few freely accessible data.

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