HSSH March Newsletter 3/2024

Recent news and upcoming events at HSSH – read more below and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter!


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


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.


REMINDER– Are you running an active or emerging research group at the City Centre Campus? Fill the HSSH affiliation survey by the end of April!


HSSH has launched a new Research Group Survey and invites all active research groups at the City Centre Campus to update their information, interests and needs.

“We hope research groups already affiliated with the HSSH network to update their information and at the same time, we invite new research groups to join in”, HSSH director Risto Kunelius says.

“Based on the feedback of our first-round survey in 2021 we have streamlined the questionnaire. It is now easier and quicker to fill out – and that we will be able use the information more effectively.”

“We know that nobody particularly loves the constant flood of questionnaires and e-forms. But for us at HSSH to be able to serve the campus research groups and develop ideas for support, an updated map of the field is really important”, Kunelius adds.

HSSH will use the collected information to create an accessible database on the research groups of the UH City Centre Campus. The database will include the topics, data, methods and contact people of research groups to provide information for networking and collaboration between groups.

The mission of the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) is to support multidisciplinary research networks, facilitate cooperation between research groups and advance methodological development at the City Centre Campus of the University of Helsinki (UH).

Fill the survey here.


16.4.2024 HSSH workshop on dyadic synchronization analysis


In this workshop we will look at current methods for importing, visualizing and analyzing various dyadic data (such as EDA, accelometer, facial AU or human ratings), along with artefact correction and calculating different indices of synchrony.  We will demonstrate the usage of two contemporary open-source packages in Matlab and R environments, with their creators kindly joining us during the morning sessions.

Familiarity with the used languages and time series analysis is required to get the full experience, but participation is open for all researchers at University of Helsinki Centre Campus. This is a great opportunity to ask questions regarding analysis methods from top-level experts on the field and to get inspired working on your own data together with your local colleagues during the afternoon session.

Time: 09:00-16:00, 16th April 2024.

Hybrid participation: Fabianinkatu 24, Room 524 (access via Vuorikatu 3 courtyard, take elevator or stairs from Café Portaali to floor B5, room 524 is on the right after a glass door) and in Zoom (https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/66960147015?pwd=ZXBBYUlCc0h5VUpmRHk1anA4b0dIdz09)

Sign up at: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/128402/lomakkeet.html

Click here for the detailed program of the workshop.

More information: Pentti Henttonen pentti.henttonen@helsinki.fi, +358504491284


The HSSH Datafication Research Programme Spring workshops: on Multimodal Analysis of Audiovisual Data – 5.4. session: theoretical and ethical general challenges in multimodal analysis


HSSH Methodological Unit and Datafication Research Programme are organizing City Centre Campus wide workshops on visual and audiovisual data. These thematic workshops are open for all and address the technological and philosophical challenges involved in the matter.  

Contemporary political communication has been transforming into more multimodal direction, which presents a fascinating challenge for researchers in Humanities and Social Sciences. There are established traditions in multimodal analysis, but the mainstreaming of the phenomenon and the (assumed) availability of the data has generated further needs to collaborate and coordinate research practices in this field. These workshops focus on social media data and the particular technical and philosophical issues related to them, but some of this knowledge may be transferrable to non-multimodal data and audio, visual and audiovisual. Further complications exist in terms of data storage and availability for the social media data also in the multimodal sense. 

This series of workshops seek to gather researchers across the City Centre Campus Faculties.


Friday 5 April at 14-16 (Fabianinkatu 24, 524, entrance through Vuorikatu inner court yard): theoretical and ethical general challenges in multimodal analysis 

Sign up for catering by 3.4. https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/129160/lomake.html

In this session we discuss the theoretical and methodological challenges involved in working with visual data using different methodologies and epistemological approaches. The debate will discuss contributions from ethnography, more speculative approaches to generative AI as well as more mixed method and quantitative approaches. Short presentations by:

Matti Pohjonen and Aleksi Knuutila: “Synthetic ethnography: Field devices for the qualitative study of generative visual models.” 

Katja Valaskivi: Image recognition and cultural meanings

Zoom link for online participants.


Brown Bag Seminar every Tuesday at 12.15 – next session with Essi Pöyry & Salla-Maaria Laaksonen on 2.4. 


The Methodological Unit of HSSH hosts a weekly event, Brown Bag Seminar, to highlight novel methodological approaches in humanities and social sciences.

The seminars are organized as hybrid events. You’re warmly welcome to join us at the HSSH Seminar Room, Vuorikatu 3, room 524, 5th floor, or on Zoom.

Click here to add the Brown Bag Seminar events directly to your calendar (.ics file).

According to a researcher at the Methodological Unit, Matti Pohjonen, the idea of the meetings “is to introduce methodological innovations and cutting-edge research in various disciplines in an easily accessible manner and have an interdisciplinary discussion in an easy-going atmosphere over lunch.”

Every Tuesday at 12.15. In the next meeting on 2.4. Essi Pöyry & Salla-Maaria Laaksonen will talk about collecting social media data without API access. Bring your own lunch, we bring fresh methodological topics!

Read more about the event on our website!


15.5. Afternoon Seminar: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Multimodality


We are delighted to invite you to an afternoon seminar that coincides with John A. Bateman's (Bremen University, Germany) stay in Helsinki (May 5-19) as a part of the HSSH Visiting Professor Program (https://shorturl.at/bgDNY).

The phenomenon of multimodality – or how humans make and exchange meanings using combinations of multiple 'modes' of expression – is currently receiving increased attention across diverse fields of research, ranging from linguistics and semiotics to literary studies and digital humanities, to name just a few examples.

The purpose of this seminar is to explore different disciplinary perspectives on multimodality as an inherent feature of meaning-making, and to discuss the prospects of establishing a common ground for developing general theories of multimodality.

The seminar will be organised on May 15, 2024 between 12:00 and 16:00 in the Main Building of the University of Helsinki in lecture room U4062 (old side, entrance via Unioninkatu 34, 4th floor). It is also possible to attend the seminar remotely.

Please sign up for the seminar using the following link by April 15, 2024: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/128586/lomake.html

Program for the seminar:

12:00-12:10 Opening of the seminar (Tuomo Hiippala)
12:15-13:00 John A. Bateman (Bremen University)
13:05-13:45 Tarja Knuuttila (University of Vienna)
13:45-14:10 Coffee
14:15-14:55 Maija Hirvonen (Tampere University)
15:00-16:00 Panel discussion (participants: John A. Bateman, Mats Bergman, Maija Hirvonen, Tarja Knuuttila & Kai Mikkonen; moderated by Tuomo Hiippala)

18:00- Dinner (at one's own cost, location TBC)

For additional information about the event, please contact Tuomo Hiippala at tuomo.hiippala@helsinki.fi.


Value seminar held a reunion meeting in March


Value seminar (“VEMP”), an on-going seminar organized by social psychologists and psychologists in Helsinki that started in 1998 had its reunion meeting at HSSH on March 13th, with HSSH’s university researcher Sointu Leikas as a co-organizer. Value seminar has served as an open and diverse forum for research findings in human values, emotions, moral judgment, and personality. In the reunion, Martti Puohiniemi, one of the most prominent and impactful Finnish value researchers, presented findings from the course of his long career.


Data School | Call for participation: 1st International DEDA Seminar


Read more about the seminar on the Data School website.

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