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Sami Borg and Helena Laaksonen : Acquisition policies for a new data archive IASSIST2005 Edinburgh, May 2005

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Presentation on theme: "Sami Borg and Helena Laaksonen : Acquisition policies for a new data archive IASSIST2005 Edinburgh, May 2005"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sami Borg and Helena Laaksonen : Acquisition policies for a new data archive IASSIST2005 Edinburgh, May 2005

2 Facts about FSD and the Finnish setting FSD was established in 1999, at that time the number of permanent staff members was 10 Most Finnish social scientists work at about 10 different universities, financed by the state A great number of surveys are collected by projects and by organizations outside the academia (so-called sector research organizations, also the third sector share is important) Popularity of quantitative research methods varies a lot by university and by discipline

3 Background Appropriate acquisition policies support data sharing and open access to research data What we should achieve are better research and science ethics, better quality of research and learning, and more efficient use of public funding Acquisition policies and archival development must be adjusted to the mandate, mission, and resources of the archive, and to its operational environment FSD has strong national mandate in national data archiving, but… National culture for data sharing is weak

4 Developments in scope and coverage In the beginning FSD’s focus was primarily on archiving quantitative social science data, mainly national and international surveys Acquisition of qualitative data started some years ago, it needs more time and support Now we are also trying to acquire more data from educational sciences and health sciences Setting documentation levels to different types of data is in process

5 Criteria for evaluating data sets and deciding what to archive 1 FSD has more or less the same criteria for evaluation as, for instance, the UK Data Archive Key evaluation criteria are linked to the scope, to sufficient legal conditions, and to the re-use potential of the data in research and teaching Data depositors can (but luckily seldom do) set different types conditions on the use of their data, and depositing data is NOT mandatory For the moment, the basic data services are free of charge for data providers and end-users (extra services, like sending printed material, are charged) Only in very few cases FSD has paid the costs of preparing data for archival

6 Criteria for evaluating data sets and deciding what to archive 2 Emphasis has mainly been on data with wide geographical coverage Time series and panel data are of great interest, but very few panel data sets has been archived so far The present collection includes about 600 data sets, fully documented with the DDI Work load from updating data and metadata not yet that heavy We still hope to see a rapid increase on the number of archived data sets Basically have not yet been very selective in data evaluation, if formal requirements have been ok

7 Acquisition in practice in FSD Reality: Researchers seldom contact us to archive their data The archive must be active and persistent

8 From localisation to archiving 1 Three stages of acquisition: 1.Localisation 2.Contacting the researchers 3.Receiving the data & other related material

9 From localisation to archiving 2 Focal points in establishing contacts: 1.”Ok, I’ll give you my research data” 2.Making it really happen

10 Identifying contemporary data Sources: Academic journals News media E-mail lists Online publication catalogues of universities Web sites of research funding bodies

11 Detective work to preserve older data Sources: Literature Older issues of academic journals Most important: contacts with experienced academics

12 Contacting potential depositors Localisation everyone’s business Establishing contacts, main responsibility: Director, Information Officer & Senior Research Fellow, a specialist on research ethics and qualitative research

13 Acquiring data is a tough job 1 Several contacts before receiving the data in an easy case: 5 – 10 e-mails & phone calls In a tough case: after 20 contacts, still waiting to get the data

14 Acquiring data is a tough job 2 Biggest negotiation challenge to persuade an individual researcher Established contacts may ease the acquisition process Medium-sized organisations easier than large ones

15 Acquiring data is a tough job 3 Recently collected datasets, with primary analyses made and published, easier to acquire Moments for success: when researchers are approaching retirement age, or when they move office

16 Temporal coverage of FSD’s data holdings (31 Dec. 2004) Points of time (timePrd, starting point) DecadeN% 1-1979275,9 21980 -19895812,7 31990 -199923551,5 42000 -13629,8 All456100

17 PR and information services Part of acquisition: making the archive known Promoting a new culture of data sharing within the research community Appeal to researchers’ own interests

18 Support from the funding organisations in Europe 1 In all but one country at minimum one funding body has at least a recommendation to deposit data for archiving In five countries more than mere recommendations Ways of controlling not effective enough (except in the UK)

19 Support from the funding organisations in Europe 2 Only in the UK: research projects apply for money to prepare data for archiving in most cases In five countries the researchers apply funds for this purpose almost never or never In one country they sometimes apply In one country they seldom apply Seven of our informants estimated: funding would usually be given to the projects when applied for In three countries they would usually not get the money

20 1 Locate: Identify Monitor Locate Consult experts Read Document 2 Contact: Plan Time Visit Call E-mail Document 3 Reach agreement: Inform Negotiate Persuade Appeal Convince Sell Convert (Buy / Bribe) (Blackmail) Sign 4 Acquire data and docs: Wait Remind Help Contact Repeat Appeal Institutional support: Archival resources Research agreements Research guidelines Data sharing decisions Etc. High pressure over data acquisition

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