5. huhtikuuta 2019

FSD’s multilingual and qualitative data expertise brings in international visitors

During its 20 years of operation, FSD has established its status as a trusted partner in collaboration of data archives. On the initiative of our Japanese colleagues, we organised a seminar entitled Metadata, Data Catalogues and Tools for Findability in March.

The motivation for the seminar was a Japanese national project developing a joint data catalogue of several service providers. Our Japanese visitors chose to visit Finland and FSD because we have a long experience in successfully providing services in two languages, Finnish and English, as well as delivering metadata for harvesting by national and international joint catalogues.

We designed our presentations to answer the needs of our guests. FSD's experts shared experiences of using the DDI-C metadata format, the process of joining national and international multidisciplinary catalogues, the significance and utilisation of controlled vocabularies, and the CoreTrustSeal certification, among others.

Professor Yukio Maeda presents JSPS's plan for a federated data catalogue. Photo: Tuomas J. Alaterä

In addition to talks by FSD experts and our guests from Japan, the seminar featured presentations by the Director of CESSDA Ron Dekker and the Swedish National Data Service's IT Systems Architect Olof Olsson. It is important for CESSDA to collaborate with organisations outside of Europe. The seminar in Tampere provided a good opportunity to share information about CESSDA strategy and objectives in responsible data sharing as well as the CESSDA Data Catalogue, which contains both FSD's and SND's metadata. SND makes use of the DDI-L format, and Olsson's presentation on the topic offered a good comparison of two distinct metadata solutions. The presentation was also interesting from FSD's systems development point of view.

Similar challenges

The seminar showed that the challenges of research data management and sharing are very similar everywhere. Similarly to Finland and Europe, researchers in Japan have a positive attitude towards data sharing in principle. However, when it comes to sharing their own data with others, they do not feel comfortable doing so or they prefer to share the data themselves rather than letting professionals do it for them. Our data acquisition team regularly encounters similar attitudes.

Seminar attendees. Photo: Misa Senbonmatsu

What also sounded familiar was the fact that the development of the data infrastructure is not actually nationally coordinated in Japan. Instead, the funder has opened a competition where different service providers are able to apply for funding for projects with certain pre-defined conditions. The big picture is then made up of what various organisations think is necessary and which project proposals the funder approves. Another thing to consider is how established the infrastructure operations will be after the funding period.

More information:

» DDI-C ja L documentation
» Swedish National Data Service SND
» Japan Society for the Promotion of Science JSPS
» FSD metadata records in machine readable formats
» Data are described in the DDI format
» Vocabularies used in FSD's data descriptions

Helena Laaksonen
firstname.surname [at] tuni.fi

This blog entry is also available in Finnish:
Monikielinen aineisto-osaaminen ja laadullisten aineistojen asiantuntemus tuovat kansainvälisiä vieraita Tietoarkistoon.

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