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Research Data Management

Reusing and citing data

Reusing and benefiting from existing datasets is a fundamental motive of data opening and sharing. Research data are valuable resources that often require a lot of time and money to create. It is thence worthwhile to consider reusing existing datasets that previous studies have generated and publicly archived. Yet reusing data is not only about saving time and resources. It also improves data repeatability and verifiability, and thus the reliability of scientific outputs.

At the same time, optimal use and reuse of archived data become possible only when the accessibility and reusability of research data have been ensured. Properly managed and openly published research data with appropriate licenses enable and facilitate shared use. FAIR data principles give guidance on how to make your data truly open and reusable. See also Data publishing and preservation about how to open and publish your data.

Services for searching for datasets include:

  • Aila by the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) provides access to data archived, free of charge. After registering, you can search for and download relevant data easily and quickly.
  • Google Dataset Search utilises the Google search engine to identify datasets across the web and different existing data repositories.
  • The Helsinki Region Infoshare (HRI) service has, since 2011, provided open data sources produced and utilised by the Helsinki metropolitan cities (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen). The data published are mainly statistical, giving a comprehensive and diverse outlook on different urban phenomena, such as living conditions, economics and well-being, employment and transport. Find the data catalogues and search for datasets here:
  • Mendeley Data portal from Elsevier, announced in late 2018, searches datasets from domain-specific and cross-domain repositories, journals and archives, and also allows registered users to archive their own data. 
  • OpenAIRE explore is a search portal to datasets from a wide range of international repositories.

When reusing data, good practices for the attribution of authorship and data citation shall be followed. See the citing instructions Citing archival data by FSD.

More information, see How to reuse research data by OpenAIRE.