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Research Data: Ethics and legal aspects

Guide for managing research data

Research ethics

Research ethics are integral part of the whole research process. Ethical issues should be taken into consideration already in the planning phase of research. There are several national advisory boards which promote and review ethical issues of research.

Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK) is appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The board addresses ethical questions relating to research and advances research ethics in Finland. Guidelines of the board remind that "the researcher complies with the standards set for scientific knowledge in planning and conducting the research, in reporting the research results and in recording the data obtained during the research".

Ethics Committee of Youth and Childhood Studies is a multidisciplinary board which operates under the auspices of the Finnish Youth Research Network.

The National Advisory Board on Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics (ETENE) operates under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

National Committee on Medical Research Ethics (TUKIJA) e.g. issues opinions on the ethics of clinical drug trials and evaluates the conditions for establishing a biobank.

These national boards also support organizational ethical boards.

Intellectual property

In the early phase of research process, it is important to consider:

  • ownership of the data
  • the strategy for long-term preservation of the data
  • sharing of the data
  • possibilities for re-using the data

Creative Commons licenses could be used in the distribution of the data.

If you use third-party data, consider copyright issues and permissions to reuse the data. Also consider any restrictions needed on data sharing. Outline how to separate third-party material from research data without losing the meaning of the data, if needed. If you collect personal data, confirm that you protect personal privacy. Make sure that you remove any personal or sensitive information from your data before data sharing.

Cite Data

Data citation gives credits to a data creator and facilitates tracking the usage and impact of the data.

Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles lists principles which cover purpose, function and attributes of citations.

Digital Curation Centre gives detailed guidance  How to Cite Datasets and Link to Publications.

DataCite offers a tool to format your data citation.