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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 sharing and preservation about how to open and publish your data.

Services for searching datasets include:

  • 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 is 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 must be followed. See the citing instructions Citing archival data by the Finnish Social Science Data Archive.

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