The challenges – as well as the opportunities – of open data are affecting more and more researchers, and regardless of the discipline, the same questions come up again and again: Can I open the research data I have collected? What does it require? How to deal with sensitive material? In March 2021, the University of Helsinki’s Data Support, in cooperation with data repositories, organized a webinar that brought together researchers and data management experts from various fields. The webinar focused on what it takes to open data and how open materials can be used. This blog post sums up the event.
Determining the best data storage solution for your research can be cumbersome. To make the selection process easier, University of Helsinki researchers can now use the Data Storage and Sharing Table, which describes the various options available for storing research data. This blog post explains the criteria for choosing your research data storage solution.
CSC – IT Center for Science provides data management services and tools for computing, storing as well as opening and sharing data. As the amount of data is increasing all the time, it is important that services support the workflows and enable easy data handling.
”The greatest benefit [of open data] is that we do not know. We don’t know where, how and when the data will be used once they has been opened. That said, certain safeguards need to be in place for datasets containing sensitive information. But it does not change the idea; when these datasets are made available, as openly as possible, there is a lot of potential for future use”, says Tuomas Alaterä, Senior Specialist at the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (Tietoarkisto), who has extensive work experience in the areas of digital preservation, open data and data services to support research.
University of Helsinki Data Support, a network of experts ranging from library staff to lawyers, helps researchers all year long via a service address email@example.com. To be able to develop services, Data Support investigated what are the most frequently asked topics in the service email by researchers. Along with data management plan commenting service, most questions asked by the researchers handled sensitive data management as well as storing solutions.
The Umpio service is an answer to researchers’ queries about how to process sensitive personal data. The service was developed and tested on during last year, and the service will be further developed. At the moment, Umpio offers a more efficient and lighter solution for storing sensitive data than a dedicated server.
At the beginning of 2019, University of Helsinki (UH) Data Support together with the Faculty of Medicine conducted a survey of the faculty Principal Investigators about where data is stored during a project and where it is made available after the project. Almost 50 Principal Investigators participated in the survey. More than half of the researchers were affiliated only to University of Helsinki and around a quarter were affiliated both to the University and HUS.