Reuse of open research data

Further use of existing research data is economical and saves limited resources. It is good for researcher to utilise already existing research data in their study, because

  • it speeds up the process
  • ready data can work as reference material for their own data, or their own data can be merged with existing data
  • it will save research resources, when they do not need to conjure up everything by themselves.


When using data produced by others, the terms of use for the data must be considered. Terms of use are defined usually by a licence. Data can be used either completely freely or there may be restrictions to its use.

Research data can be searched via search services, data repositories, archives and portals. When searching, it is useful to utilise general subject headings (Finto service provides subject headings from different fields of science) that may have been used when describing data. A list of research data services here.

Open access data portals of Finnish research organisations and authorities

Data citation

Research data must be cited as all other sources used in research. According to the national data citation information model data reference should consist of following elements:

creator, title, host organisation, publication time and/or date and persistent identifier.

Useful additional elements are: version, resource type, license status, ORCID, embargo information.

Data repositories and archives usually have guidelines for data citation. Also publishers can have their own guidelines how to refer to data in journals.