FSD’s services and data receive praise from users

Submitted on Thu, 03/29/2018 - 14:14

Customers seem to be satisfied with the services and data offered by FSD. In a user satisfaction survey conducted in late 2017, as many as four out of five respondents said that they were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the service they had received from FSD. A vast majority of respondents, 84 percent, were also satisfied with the data available for download at FSD.

Based on the results of the survey, FSD is a helpful and reliable organisation, whose expertise meets the needs of the customer. Our users also believe that FSD’s work as a contributor to the development of science is important for everyone in our society.

Of all the services offered by FSD, the most popular one among the respondents was the Aila Data Service, which is used for reading descriptions of datasets and downloading data for re-use (e.g. research, teaching or study). Over 80 percent of the respondents had browsed data and variables on Aila and over 70 percent had downloaded data. The respondents considered the use of Aila straightforward, and those who had downloaded data thought that the terms of use were clear and the data package received with the download was useful. Our users think that the data found on Aila are of interest, support interdisciplinary research and facilitate the use of a single dataset in multiple fields of study.

In addition to Aila, other FSD services have been popular as well. Over 60 percent of the respondents had used the Research Methods Web Resource (MOTV), and approximately one third had used the Data Management Guidelines and publications in the FSD publication series. Other services – Tietomilli online analysis tool, Party agenda database POHTIVA and Democracy Indicators – had not been used as actively.

According to the survey results, our customers most actively use FSD’s services and the data archived at FSD for research and study purposes (40% and 35%, respectively). The data and services are also used in planning new research, as background material for publications and articles, and for teaching and theses. One fifth of respondents also said that they had used the data and services out of general interest.

According to our users, the data and services offered by FSD are beneficial in a variety of ways for both individual researchers and Finnish science in general. FSD’s communications received both praise and criticism. A third of the respondents deemed FSD’s communications sufficient, whereas one fifth disagreed. The FSD website proved to be our most important communications channel. We are reconstructing the FSD website during the spring 2018 with the aim of improved usability.

The user satisfaction survey conducted in November 2017 was targeted at registered users of the Aila Data Service and people who had deposited data and acted as contact persons for deposited data. A total of 269 responses to the survey were received, which constitute nine percent of the 2,917-customer sample. The majority of respondents were students and researchers at universities and universities of applied sciences.

Henri Ala-Lahti, Eliisa Haanpää & Hannele Keckman-Koivuniemi (2018). Data Archive – Services Supporting the Scientific Community. Report on user survey 2017.