Open research data: Experiences and opinions of scholars in Finland

Dissemination of research data is an important aspect of open research and publishing practices. Data publishing impacts sharing, collaboration between data creators and data users, transparency, reproducibility and accountability of research. How data are handled is therefore an important aspect of the Responsible Research and Innovation agenda of the European Union. Worldwide, researchers are meeting new opportunities of accessing, sharing, re-using, interpreting data and data citing. Currently in the Web of Science citations of data amount to 20% of the cited references in the social science and to 7% in the arts & humanities (White paper, 2015). In the frame of the COST-action ENRESSH, a review of the data sharing SSH journals and platforms is conducted. The review consists of two parts: (1) an overview of SSH journals and platforms that focus on publishing and sharing data, and (2) an analysis of the data policies of a random sample of SSH journals. For the latter analysis we looked up the online author instructions and journal policy for the year 2017 of a random set of SSH journals selected from the Finish journal list. Per journal, the existing data-publishing policy is examined in light of established processes. We paid particular attention to data journals and journals special sections for data papers and for supplementary materials. Where relevant, the open data policy and supplementary material policy were examined and a comparison has been made between standard subscription based journals and open access journals in this regard. We will present first findings of this review during the workshop.

Introduction and contribution
The development towards open science including open data and open publishing, emphasizes the importance of proper data management plans and related practices. This study focuses on investigating academic researchers’ and doctoral students’ experiences and attitudes towards data management, especially regarding open data, in Finland.

This study is part of an international project on Data Literacy and Research Data Management. The survey instrument, consisting of 24 questions, was created by researchers from England, Turkey and France. LimeSurvey online platform was used for data collection. The survey (in English, Finnish and Swedish) was distributed by utilising the higher education institutions’ and research organisations’ personnel involved in the development of the national data management tool (Tuuli-project 2016). The data were collected in June and July 2017. The statistical analysis was conducted by using IBM SPSS Statistics. From the respondents 469 answered all of the questions.

In general, many informants are uncertain of the issues related to open research data management. Although numerous institutes and funding bodies recommend openness of research conventions, not all informants are aware of this. Almost half (48.5%) consider themselves familiar with the open access requirements. Third (35.2%) are not comfortable and willing to share their research data with others. Only few have had training on e.g., data management plans (8.1%) or metadata (3.3%) but many would like to. The results could be beneficial for universities and other research organizations in promoting open data initiatives.


Tuuli-project (2016). DMPTuuli-project. Available at: