Politics of higher education institutions and funding agencies

Researchers bear primary responsibility for adherence to the proper conduct of research.  According to the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Ethics: "Nonetheless, the responsibility also rests on the whole research community: research groups and their principal investigators, the directors of research units and the administration of research organisations" (TENK 2012). Organisations conducting scientific research are, first and foremost, responsible for promoting the proper conduct of research and dealing with suspected violations of this conduct. In any case, measures that ensure the long life and usability of research data are also needed. Indeed, many higher education institutions and funding agencies have established guidelines and obligations for the standardisation of data management practices

Higher education institutions

The Finnish Council of University Rectors signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2005. In real terms, the policies, operating methods and practices of higher education institutions vary greatly. For many higher education institutions, a standardised data policy is still being defined. University of Helsinki Research data policy was accepted 11.2.2015.

The commitment of higher education institutions to the standardisation of data management practices and supporting the collection, use, storage and reuse planning of data is crucial. Data management practices should be clearly defined at the beginning of research, when the openness of research data and possibility for its reuse can be assured.  Higher education institutions should also make every effort to offer the necessary support services for making a sensible data policy possible.

Additional information on the practices of data policy can be obtained from data and research administration of the higher education institution as well as institution websites.

Funding agencies

Many funding agencies require that a data management plan is included as a part of the funding application. Drafting a data management plan requires planning the collection, use, storage and reuse of data.

Many foreign research funding agencies require a data management plan which includes a plan for the reuse of data. The National Science Foundation requires that project applications include a detailed data management plan. European Research Council, Trust, Wellcome Trust and National Institutes of Health (NIH) are  foreign funding agencies that require openness of the data which the research results are based on.

Academy of Finland

 The Academy of Finland requires that applicant research plans include information on how the project research data will be obtained, used, stored and protected as well as how its future use will be made possible for other users. This plan should also specify the ownership and user rights of data used and produced in the project. The Academy recommends that, wherever possible, the possibilities for long-term preservation of research data should be investigated by the projects it is funding.

The Academy of Finland also recommends that the projects it is funding submit the social science data they have collected to the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. Making linguistic data available to other researchers through the FIN-CLARIN system is recommended.

The Academy of Finland advises researchers to publish their work following the principles of open access and open data. When applying for funding from the Academy, researchers must include in their research plans a publication plan and a data management plan.


In Tekes-funded research projects, special attention is given to the practical exploitation of projects. The results of Tekes-funded projects are public. One of the criteria Tekes uses in granting funding is the assessment of key measures and channels for applying results and disseminating the data produced.