Help with data management: The first research data handbooks for SSH fields published

Five research data management handbooks are published as the first results of a data management project.

In 2022–2023 Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) and the University of Helsinki Library implemented a project aimed at developing research data management (RDM) workflows. Five handbooks introducing five different types of research data are published as first results of the project. You can read the handbooks (so far only in Finnish) here.

The published handbooks introduce management of survey data, social media data, text materials to be processed for research use, registry data, and video and audio recordings.

"Solutions for collecting, processing and storing data always depend on what kind of data is needed. The idea of the handbooks is to attach data management questions to various materials in a practical way," says Mikko Ojanen, Information Specialist and University Lecturer in Musicology, who coordinated the project.

HSSH has mapped the needs for the handbooks with surveys to City Centre Campus researchers. Fifteen researchers have continued to comment on the content during the writing process. This spring the data management handbooks will be discussed in more detail in the faculties of the City Centre Campus.

In March there were lively discussions on the handbooks at the Faculty of Education's Research Day on March 1st, 2024, and at the Faculty of Social Science's Research Data Management workshop on March 6th, 2024, under the leadership of Vice-Dean in charge of research units, Timo Kaartinen.

The needs of researchers were discussed during the meeting and the need for personal support with detailed and complex research data management questions was brought up in the discussion.

"Personal support is available, but its resources are limited, so we hope that the handbooks help researchers with as many questions as possible. We believe that the guides are also useful for students who need to understand the basics of responsible data management both in their theses and in their future work," says Ojanen.

The field of data management and its requirements are constantly changing, as the use and combination of digitalized data increases.

"The versions published now will be developed in the future through feedback and changes in the field. We are also producing more handbooks, including interview data, ethnography, and experimental measurement data", says HSSH director Risto Kunelius.

The RDM handbooks are currently only available in Finnish, but other language versions will be published in the future.

Join the HSSH Friends and re­ceive the news­let­ter to your email!

You will find the instructions for joining HSSH Friends here.