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Number 10 (1/2003)

FSD User Survey

Hannele Keckman-Koivuniemi | Jouni Sivonen    28.2.2003

FSD's user survey was carried out as an internet survey in November-March 2002. The survey charted user satisfaction and the use of the archive's web pages and other services. Respondents were either academic social science researchers or staff of a social science research organization. There were 97 respondents. The number of respondents was not large enough to allow far-reaching conclusions.

One fifth (20%) of all respondents worked in human sciences, 14% in administrative sciences and 14% in communication or information studies. Over one third worked in research, one in five in teaching and one in six in administration and the rest in various information services or other jobs. One respondent in six worked in a university. The range of respondents shows that FSD's activities are known to different types of organizations and disciplines.

Over half were active users

70% of all respondents had visited FSD's web site previously, one quarter more often than ten times. Respondents had received information about the archive and its services from FSD home pages, colleagues, FSDNewwws, university courses or from the archive staff in connection with a visit.

Respondents had used the services mostly to get acquainted with the archive and its services (66%) or to get information about archived data (48%). About 40% had wanted to get acquainted with the Web Resource of Sociology or Political Science and nearly as many with the Research Methods Web Resource MOTV (38%). Over half of all respondents were active users who had either deposited data with the archive, ordered data for research or teaching purposes or had previously visited FSD home pages more often than five times.

Active users satisfied

Three respondents out of ten felt they were well or fairly well acquainted with the FSD. One in four felt they were not at all well acquainted. Most active users were well acquainted with the FSD (62%) whereas the majority of non-active users (83%) were not. User satisfaction was evaluated by asking how well the data archive had succeeded to serving its clients or potential clients in various aspects. Most respondents chose 'can't say', especially those who visited the archive's web pages for the first time or were not at all well acquainted with the archive on the whole. The following chart displays the responses of active users. 'Can't say' responses have been omitted.

Chart 1: Active users' evaluation of FSD's basic services

Chart 1

Most active users thought the archive had handled its operations excellently or well. The delivery time of data, number of archived studies, easy access to general information about a particular study and the comprehensiveness of descriptions were positively noted.

Suggestions for improvement

Some respondents found that there were not enough data of interest to them, whereas others would have wanted better search options on the data or criticised the number of delivery formats.

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