About research data management and open science
Research data are a valuable resource that often requires a lot of time and money to create. Thus, it is worthwhile to take some time to ensure that data is managed properly. Funding agencies increasingly require data management plans before funding research projects.
What part of data is published, when, and how data is curated, are strategic decisions of the principal investigator (PI). The PI takes into consideration agreements, commercial interests, policies and the law. Decisions are also made on the data repository chosen and whether to publish data and software. University services offer guidance for these decisions.
Please read more in the Aalto University Research Data Management Policy below.
The benefits of managing data well
At the very least, you should:
- Ensure your data is backed up during and after a research project.
- Ensure you and others can access your data. The best way to do this is to make it open and publicly archive it in a well known repository which will guide you with metadata too!
- Ensure the FAIRness of your data.
- Consider if your data should be open either partially or completely.
Research Data Lifecycle in the light of research data management
Research questions guide the search of research data, either collecting your own data or reusing somebody else’s data. In the national FAIRdata services (Etsin), several Finnish metadata of research data are listed. In addition, several discipline-specific and general data repositories exist for you to browse.
To get acquainted with data collections, start with Zenodo or Finnish Social Science Data Archive (for social sciences research) or discipline-specific data repositories. Other sources include citations of datasets in relevant articles and the data from previous research. Proper metadata ensures interoperability and guarantees that you can combine existing data with the new data you collect.
There are several possibilities for storage. The most common national solution is FAIRdata service IDA. Please, notice that EOSC-service portal offers several services for common use. Aalto IT Services offers services that enable file sharing and the proper handling of backup and security issues.
The most important task of data curation is to describe the data properly, i.e. description of the data, making it understandable and usable for yourself and other researchers. FAIR principles give guidance. Proper versioning keeps track of changes and updates to data.
Giving open access to research publications often means that the research data underlying the publication is to be published as a supplement to the article or in repositories. Only use repositories that assign persistent identifiers to the data.
To authorize the reuse of your research data, you need to license the data, considering the rights to the original existing data and newly collected data.
Links to research data management instructions
Follow these links to navigate through research data management instructions.