Today is national One One Two Day 112 (in Finnish and Swedish). Today several government officials wish to direct attention to public safety and the proper use of the emergency phone number 112. The aim of the day is to make Finland the safest country in Europe. How to prevent accidents from happening? How to make everyday life more safe and secure? What kind of infrastructure promotes safety? How to find help when needed?
Today is also the second birthday of University of Helsinki Research Data Policy. Two years ago, on February 11, 2015 Rector Jukka Kola signed the Research Data Policy. The aim of the Research Data Policy is to define high-level principles regarding the collection, storing, use, and management of research data. The ultimate goal is to make researchers’ everyday life and core business, that is, research, easier and – in a sense – more safe.
Although the policy paper itself does not make anybody’s life easier of safer, the policy requires university to take certain actions in order to safeguard professional research data management throughout the research life cycle. From researcher’s point of view the key questions are: How to find help when needed? What kind of infrastructure supports my research?
During the implementation phase of the Research Data Policy, University of Helsinki has answered to these questions by first, setting up the Datasupport network and, second, launching the Project MILDRED. The Datasupport network assists researchers in the management of research data. Researchers are offered tools, services, and training regarding the management, use, access to, and sharing of research data. Via DataSupport researchers can reach all data management specialists at the University. The specialists will help researchers in data related emergency. As such, the Datasupport email firstname.lastname@example.org is a kind of the 112 number for researchers.
But as is with the One One Two Day, the focus of the Datasupport network is not on the emergency cases, but on how to avoid them. How to plan research more secure and safe data-wise? The Datasupport network’s aim is to prevent emergencies and help researchers plan the collection, storing, use, and management of research data in advance. Project MILDRED, on the other hand, builds a safe and well planned infrastructure on which the Datasupport and researcher can trust to support both data intensive research and research based on the so called long tail data. Infrastructure is the basis of well-working society and research.