FSD2268 Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data 2006

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  • Borg, Sami (University of Tampere. Finnish Social Science Data Archive)
  • Kuula, Arja (University of Tampere. Finnish Social Science Data Archive)


OECD, advantages, computer science, data, data archives, digital archiving, disadvantages, ethics of science, financing, open access, recommendations, research, research centres, scientific cooperation


The aim of this survey was to chart how the universities in Finland have organised the depositing of digital research data and to what extent the data are reused by the scientific community after the original research has been completed. The respondents were professors of human sciences, social sciences and behavioural sciences in Finnish universities, and representatives of some research institutes. Opinions were also queried on the OECD guidelines and principles on open access to research data from public funding.

First, the respondents were asked whether there were any guidelines or regulations concerning the depositing of digital research data in their departments, what happened to research data after the completion of the original research, and to what extent the data were reused. Further questions covered how often the data from completed research projects were reused in secondary research projects or for theses. The respondents also estimated what proportion of the data collected in their departments/institutes were reusable at the time of the survey, and why research data were not being reused in their own field of research. Views were also investigated on whether confidentiality or research ethics issues, or problems related to copyright or information technology formed barriers to data reuse.

Opinions on the OECD Open Access guidelines on research data were queried. The respondents were asked whether they had earlier knowledge of the guidelines, and to what extent its principles could be implemented in their own disciplines. Some questions pertained to the advantages and disadvantages of open access to research data. The advantages mentioned included reducing duplicate data collection and more effective use of data resources, whereas the disadvantages mentioned included, for example, risks connected to data protection and misuse of data. The respondents also suggested ways of implementing the Open Access guidelines and gave their opinions on how binding the recommendations should be, to what extent various bodies should be involved in formulating the guidelines, and how the archiving and dissemination of digital research data should be organised. Finally, the respondents estimated how the researchers in their field would react to enhancing open access to research data, and also gave their opinion on open access to the data they themselves have collected.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, university, and research field.

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