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Open RDI at Haaga-Helia: Data management


Contact Haaga-Helia´s open RDI support  (ATT-tuki) and RDI services in questions related to responsible and open RDI. If needed, open RDI support will forward your questions to RDI support services, library, IT-services, open education development, legal and data protection experts, or Haaga-Helia´s multidisciplinary open RDI coordination group.

The benefits of RDI data management

Data is subject to all kinds of risks from human error to natural catastrophe.

Good data management ensures the preservability, findability, accessibility, comprehensibility and reusability of research data . It benefits researchers, organisations, science, funders and the whole of society.

  • Researchers find their own data.
  • The opening of data provides researchers with more visibility, more citations, and is therefore part of increasing academic merit.
  • Organisations are informed about what kind of data has been collected in projects and how it  may be used.
  • The influence and visibility of RDI improve.
  • Enables duplicability -> reliability, transparency.
  • Speeds up research and reduces overlapping work.
  • Enables, for example, longitudinal studies.
  • It is easier for the funder to monitor the use of resources and to allocate them.
  • More commercial innovations.

Research data policy in Haaga-Helia

Our research data policy describes the basic principles, policies and responsibilities of managing data generated in RDI activities at Haaga-Helia.

The aim of the research data policy and related guidelines is to create clear rules for managing the life cycle of research data, i.e. collecting, presenting, documenting, describing, storing and deleting research data in Haaga-Helia.

The research data policy guides those conducting research to act in accordance with current data management requirements, good scientific practice, guidelines for open science and research, and current legislation.

Our goal is also to enable the wide-ranging social impact of the research carried out in Haaga-Helia. In terms of effectiveness, it is important that our research materials are as open as possible and as closed as necessary. If opening the material is not possible for a justified reason, it is our goal to collect information about the data on an organizational level and, if possible, to openly publish the metadata of the material. In addition, the research data policy aims to clarify the role and responsibilities of both the organization and each data handler.

We monitor the implementation of the data policy as well as national and international research data management recommendations and the development of national services related to the management of the life cycle of research data.

Read Haaga-Helia's research data policy in its entirety and more detailed instructions at the links below.

Data management and Data management plans

Data management means that the research materials (data) and related descriptive information (metadata) have been created, stored and organized in such a way that the material remains usable and reliable and that data protection and information security are ensured throughout the material's entire life cycle.

Data management is part of a responsibly implemented RDI project and the life cycle of data management follows the process model of an RDI project from project preparation to implementation, from managing the results to publishing and opening them, and utilizing the business potential.

Data management covers the planning, description and making understandable, preservation and necessary protection of the research data management of the RDI project during and after the project, as well as possibly opening the data or its metadata.

Good data management is part of good scientific practice and ensures that the project complies with the requirements set by the financiers and the legislation for research data. Data management makes the research transparent, reliable and repeatable and enables further use of the data

Data management plans

At Haaga-Helia, good scientific practice and ethical research principles are always required in data collection. Regarding research and development projects, it is required to make a data management plan for the research data, following the instructions of the organization and possible funders.

Research data are the materials (data) collected, produced, edited and used in our RDI projects, on which the project results are based. In addition to the materials themselves, research data also includes metadata describing the context of the material, the set of materials or the observation unit.

Making data management plans is the responsibility of project managers. Data management is essential at all levels of the RDI process and must be ensured from the beginning of the process. The initial data management plan is already made during the planning and preparation of the project.

The data management plan describes how the project acquires and uses data, what are the ownership and usage rights of the data, how the data will be stored and how or if the data will be opened to other researchers during the project and after its completion.

The data management plan describes the technical and administrative handling of the material, and it should show in particular the consideration and management of related risks. In this sense, the data management plan can be thought of as a risk management document. Data management plan therefore differs from the research plan which describes the scientific, analytical and methodological processing of the material, and simply reiterating the research plan in the data management plan should be avoided.

As a tool for data management plans, we recommend either the funder's own data management plan template or the general data management plan template provided by DMP Tuuli.

DMP Tuuli (data management plan Tuuli) is a common data management tool developed by Finnish research organizations. It facilitates the creation and implementation of a data management plan, guiding the user to answer key questions on data management, relating to:

• general description of the data

• ethical principles and compliance with legislation

• documentation and metadata

• recording and backup

• opening, publishing and archiving

• responsibilities and resources

Informing participants

In all research on human subjects, a key ethical principle is to inform the subjects about the goals of the study, the methods used, the processing and further use of the collected research material. The purpose of the informing is to make the subjects understand what they are agreeing to, so that they can give their consent to participating.

Since participants give their consent to participate in the research on the basis of informing, the informing constitutes the content of the consent in practice.The informing then forms the basis for how the researcher can use the material in the research for which the material was collected or in follow-up studies.

It is important already in the planning and preparation phase of the research to think about the value and possibilities of further use of the material or points in favor of its one-off nature, so that the research subjects can be correctly informed about the processing of the material. The starting point of informing research subjects is therefore the data management plan, that is part of the research plan, and the special features of the study in question.

The content and accuracy of the information provided for the subjects depends on the material and the goals of the study, but it should cover the following areas.

  • Contact information
    • Researcher's contact information / contact person, data controller, roles of several parties
  • Subject and goal of the research
    • Name of the study and general description of the subject and objectives of the research
  • Implementation of data collection
    • What kind of interaction is expected from the researched and what kind of data collection techniques are used. E.g. individual or group interview, follow-up survey or one-off survey.
  • Voluntary participation and the right to interrupt
    • A key legislative and research ethical requirement
  • Confidentiality of processing research material
    • Definitions of purpose of use and level of identification
    • Aspects related to data security, such as who processes the material, technical solutions
  • Combining register and document data with research material
    • What register and document information is intended to possibly be combined with the collected material
  • Subjects' privacy in research publications
  • Further use and archiving of research material
    • Archiving and storage location, for what purpose the stored material is used or can be handed over for use, how further use is managed.

Informing research subjects in RDI projects is usually carried out with an information sheet based on Haaga-Helia's template.

Informing subjects about the processing of personal data

If personal data is collected in connection with the research, the participants in the research must be clearly informed about it. In addition, separate consent must be requested especially for the processing of personal data.

According to the Data Archive's Data Management manual, the informing of the research subjects must enable the to understand how personal data concerning them is collected, used, disclosed, stored and otherwise processed.

A general condition is that information about the processing of personal data is given to subjects in a concise, transparent, easily understandable and accessible form in clear and simple language. The registrar of the personal data has the obligation to demonstrate that the information has been provided to the extent required by the general data protection regulation. In connection with research projects, information about the processing of personal data is usually carried with a separate consent form, for which Haaga-Helia has a template.

Sensitive data

In order to be able to process collected data correctly, it is important to identify what kind of information is going to be collected in the project. Responsible and legal handling of the material should be planned even before starting the collecting of data. In practice, this happens by making a data management plan.

If the research data contains protected material, in addition to the legislation also the rules and restrictions in Haaga-Helia's instructions for handling protected materials must be followed in its processing. Processing operations must also be documented.

Protected material refers to all information that is subject to special protection requirements, i.e. various personal data or other, for example, confidential information related to security arrangements, preparedness or business secrets.

Personal data is information on the basis of which a person can be identified directly or indirectly, for example by combining individual information with some other information that enables identification. A person can be identified based, for example, on the basis of a name, a social security number or something characteristic of him.

The processing of special groups of personal data in research is basically prohibited and always requires the express consent of the data subject. These include e.g. ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health information and sexual orientation and behavior.

When processing personal data, e.g.

  • Lawfulness of personal data processing.
  • Transparency, informing subjects about the processing of personal data and asking for consent.
  • Punctuality. the processed data must be error-free, up-to-date and sufficient for its purpose of use.
  • Purpose relatedness. The purpose of use of the personal data must be identified for the subjects and the roles of the different parties in the processing of the data must be define.
  • Data minimization. Only personal data necessary for the research must be collected.
  • Limiting storage. Personal data is stored only to the extent necessary.
  • Information security, ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability.

With regard to confidential material, Haaga-Helia is obliged to comply with the Publicity Act, and confidentiality must be based on that or another special law. Confidential information is, for example, business and professional secrets, information falling within the scope of privacy protection of private individuals and information related to security arrangements, facilities, information security and preparedness.

Storage of research data

The life cycle of research data includes many phases, such as the active phase of data collection and analysis and correspondingly archiving, destroying or opening at the end of the life cycle.

The selection of a suitable infrastructure for each stage of the life cycle is influenced by many factors: data protection, technical and legal boundary conditions, sensitivity of the data (GDPR factors), cooperation needs and user management, as well as the costs of these solutions. These factors can produce mutually contradictory requirements, but with good planning the situation can be managed.

The storage location of the research data is defined in the data management plan. The choice of the storage location is influenced by at least the following factors:

  • Information content of the material (does the data contain protected or otherwise access-restricted material). Raw data and data processed from it can be stored in different places.
  • Collaboration needs of the research team (are there external partners who need access to the original or edited data)
  • The requirements of financiers or possible other parties, e.g. regarding information security and the publicity of the material

The safest storage and processing place for material containing protected information is a disk partition/folder set up for Haaga-Helia's own storage system project (e.g. on the personnel file server or a separate IT server).

When planning the storage location, note that:

  • The research data is not stored in the home directory of the researcher/user's personal network drive, but the storage locations instructed by Haaga-Helia are used .
  • Research data are not stored in consumer services (e.g. Dropbox) even for temporary needs. Personal cloud resources may not be used (e.g. Google Drive).
  • Protected material should not be stored on external storage media (memory sticks, external hard drives, etc.).
  • Materials will not be handed over or sent without the permission of their owner. Handovers are documented.

If the research group has members outside of Haaga-Helia who need to access the data, cloud services such as Microsoft Teams or Sharepoint can be used to store the material, instead of Haaga-Helia's own storage system.

If necessary, you can also use CSC's data management services (e.g. IDA) to save the data. For questions related to the storage of data, you can get help from RDI services, and for technical questions from IT services.

Description of data (Metadata)

Content description is information about information, i.e. the production of metadata that helps to understand the set of material at hand. The content description of the research material can be divided into the content description of the material during the research and the content description of the material during the publication phase after the completion of the research.

During the research, for example, the variables and their coding, methods, folder structure and file naming convention, and other information relevant to the research are described. In the publication phase of the research, a description of the material, its authors and other information important for the usability and discovery of the material is produced.

In the worst case, the lack of description of the data can cause even the researcher himself to be no longer able to use his data after, for example, a break in the research. At best, the description of the research data enables someone outside the original research to understand why and how the data was collected and how it can be used for further research. At the organizational level, metadata and descriptive information are important in order to know what research data the organization has and how it can be used.

In Haaga-Helia's research data policy, the goal is defined as data management in accordance with FAIR principles. The word FAIR comes from Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable. High-quality description of research data and production of metadata can be understood as part of data management according to the FAIR principles.

All research data collected in Haaga-Helia's projects are described in the Materials section of the Reportronic project database. The Fairdata Qvain tool can also be used to describe the data and publish descriptive information.

Opening and publication of research data

Opening and publishing research data means opening the material or part of it to be publicly available and usable in accordance with certain terms of use. It is good to keep this separate from opening metadata, which means publishing the material's Description Data. In this case, the material is visible and it is possible to refer to it, even if there is no open access to the material itself

The opening of research data is based on the idea that the research data itself is seen as a valuable research result that merits the researcher and the material published as a reference increases the effectiveness of the researcher. The publication of research data shows confidence in the quality of the research conducted and supports the transparency of the research.

Publishing data in Haaga-Helia requires that publication has already been taken into account when planning the project and data collection, both from the point of view of the content of the data, the necessary resources, and the rights related to the data. Decisions about the opening of materials in Haaga-Helia are made based on the planning of the opening, the significance and quality of the material, and the appropriate handling of the material in all aspects.

As publication locations in Haaga-Helia, Fairdata services offered by CSC or data publishing services agreed in the research project and approved by the funder are recommended. Publishers may also have requirements regarding the preservation of material related to the publication.

If the materials cannot be opened for a justified reason, then Haaga-Helia's goal is to openly publish the metadata of the material.

Licensing data

Creative Commons logo ja linkki palveluun

With Creative Commons licenses (CC license) you can define how openly produced material on the web can be used. The CC license therefore states the terms of use of the material. With a CC license, the author of the work retains his copyright and defines the ways in which others may copy, distribute and use the work in question.

The license to be used must be agreed with the other project partners and it must be verified whether the financier has any requirements regarding the license. In addition, if the material includes parts acquired from elsewhere, for example images, you must ensure that the CC license or terms of use of these are compatible with the CC license chosen for the material.

Haaga-Helia recommends that whenever possible at least the CC BY-SA license be used. Get to know the license and the options it offers:

Services that support data management

A national set of services for data management, data storage, dataset metadata creation, dataset dissemination and distribution as well as digital preservation of selected research materials.  Fairdata Services are organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture supplied by CSC - It Center for Science.

Other services

Saavutettavuusseloste / Accessibility Statement