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tekijä: timapupu Viimeisin muutos torstai 14. maaliskuuta 2024, 12.47

This material is expired! Please go to the new and updated Research Data Management guide for students.



Research data as part of research

The term research data refers to all the resources you use in research and produce for research.  Research results are based on research data, but the generation of the data as such can be a significant result of research.  

Note that research data is not the same thing as research literature.  

The research questions determine what or what types of data (quantitative, qualitative) are used. 

  • Typical research data include questionnaires and interviews, recordings of customer or service situations, official documents, archive data, websites, internet forum postings and media resources, laboratory samples, medical imaging data, and the modelling/simulation/test/coding data of different disciplines.  
  • The aforementioned resources are called primary data. In addition, research data include data that have been produced based on the primary data, such as 
    • data produced by dividing the primary data into parts; databases, visualisations and other outputs that represent or structure the data or part of the data in different ways.  


The characteristics of science 

Both research literature (the theoretical basis of the study) and research data must comply with the conventions of scientific data production and meet its characteristics, which can be summarised as follows: 

  • Validity
    • arguments must be validated using scientific methods 
  • Publicity, co-creation and agreement (intersubjectivity) 
    • arguments and their justifications must be public 
    • science must be open to everyone 
    • scientific knowledge must be presented in an intelligible language 
  • A critical attitude, self-corrective capacity and autonomy 
    • researchers must critically question arguments presented as truths (a critical approach) 
    • scientific results must be understood as preliminary and conditional (self-correctiveness) 
    • the scientific community is responsible for correcting them (autonomy) 
  • Progressiveness 
    • taking science towards the truth through scientific activity 
    • science involves different norms respected by the research community 

Source: Niiniluoto Ilkka, "Tieteen tuntomerkit" [The nature of science]. Tiede, filosofia ja maailmankatsomus. Otava. Helsinki 1984, 21–30. 


The responsible conduct of research 

The current principles of responsible science are similar to those of traditional science. When research is undertaken according to the principles of the responsible conduct of research (RCR), it can be regarded as ethically acceptable and reliable and its results are considered credible. The openness and transparency of research are included in these principles. In your thesis, you should thus honestly specify which research methods you have used, how you have collected the data, and how you have analysed the data. 

The strength of the RCR ethical guidelines is based on the research community’s commitment to follow them. Legislation defines the framework for the RCR.

You can also recap at the Library Tutorial what the responsible conduct of research means for research literature and referencing.

Watch this video about collecting research data. Some topics touched upon in the video are explained further in the coming chapters.

The RCR guidelines were created by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK) in cooperation with the scientific community. Source: