Skip to Main Content

Researcher's guide to responsible and open science

Data collection

Tampere University community offers several different tools for collecting data depending on the type of the data collected. The use of these tools is free of charge, and information security and data protection related details have been verified. The intranet pages Digital tools for research and Software catalog contain the tools Tampere University community recommends for the different uses of data throughout its life cycle, and for different types of data.

Detailed guides on data collection tools:

Creating online surveys
Collecting interview data
Collecting data with measuring devices
REDCap system for collecting and managing research data

The University community’s research IT services has compiled a list of software (intranet) that cannot be used on Tampere University community computers. These include among others all Chinese and Russian software, as well as all new free grammar checking or proofreading software. If you cannot find the service or tool you need for data collection from the tools already available to you, or provided by Tampere University community, you can ask about getting it from the IT contact persons (intranet) or at However please note, acquiring new software requires not only potential financial resources, but also careful familiarisation with the terms of use and contractual terms, as well as verifying information security and data protection practices. These things take time to process, and procurement may eventually be blocked due to information security reasons.

Information security during data collection

The purpose of information security is to protect not only the data itself, but also the tools, services, and information systems used in its collection. When planning data collection, consider information security from at least two perspectives: how to protect against the loss of data and, on the other hand, how to ensure that the data cannot be accessed without permission. The choice of collection tool should always be based on a risk assessment: consider what risks may be associated with the different stages of data collection, or the use of different tools/services, and what concrete measures you can take to prevent the risks from actualising.

In the services provided by the University community, information security aspects have been taken into account through e.g. access rights management, verification policy, maintenance rules and agreements, audits, and special security solutions. Data can be secured by various technical means, but as a user, you have the highest responsibility for the security of your data.

The University's information security pages provide more information on the protection of data and information systems, as well as separate guidance for the collection phase, e.g. on the information security of phones, voice recorders, cameras, and remote interviews (Teams/Zoom).

Use of existing data in research

Being able to reuse data that you have previously collected or gained access to from previous projects or data repositories speeds up and promotes research work and, at best, can enable the formation of new kinds of comparative research. The reuse of data also saves research subjects' time when, for example, people in a specific target group do not have to answer researchers’ questions repeatedly. The reuse of data is also encouraged by research funders.

To be able to use existing data in research, the data should be produced with high quality, it should be described, organised, and its usage rights should be defined. Reuse also requires that the further use of the data has been agreed upon with the parties involved in its production as precisely as possible. For example, when you ask research participants for their consent to the research, clearly define in the privacy notice how long and for what purposes the collected data will be used, and where you will store or archive it between projects.

Make use of various data repositories when searching for data suitable for your research. Before use, carefully read the terms of use for the data and potential licenses.

There are countless different repositories for research materials and data. The below list lists some of the more common ones.

Data repositories:

Other data services:

  • IDA - research data storage service.

  • Qvain - Research dataset description tool (service introduction).

  • Etsin – Research data retrieval service which contains descriptive information (metadata). The service is provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

  • Open Data – open data portal and data catalogue produced by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

  • – A register that collects information about various data repositories that provide services for the long-term preservation of research data.

  • GitHub – Service for opening and sharing code.

  • Scientific Data – Data repositories recommended by the peer reviewed journal Scientific Data.

  • Paituli spatial data service – A download service for spatial datasets that stores research data from the following data providers among others: Finnish Meteorological Institute, Institute for the Languages of Finland, National Land Survey of Finland, Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, Finnish Food Authority , Statistics Finland, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).

  • National Biobank Register

  • EU Open Data Portal

  • Google Dataset search

Research data copyright

Research material may include copyrighted parts. Typically, copyright must be considered when using data produced by parties other than the researcher themselves (various images, texts, videos, sound recordings, games, etc.). The use of data in the desired manner usually requires permission from the copyright holder or the owner of the work.

However, the right to quote covers (without the need for a separate permission) the following:

  • taking text-related images of published works of art for a critical or scientific presentation (Copyright Act, Section 25). The original author and source should always be mentioned. However, it is not possible to use a published image for example only as illustration without permission.
  • citing a published work in accordance with good practice to the extent permitted for the purpose (Copyright Act, Section 22). The original author and source must always be mentioned in connection with the citation.

Published works may be utilised for private use, for example by copying (Copyright Act, section 12). Private use is defined only as reproduction of a single copy for personal use, and for use by closest circle of friends and family. For example, copying text extracts from a prose work and making them available to research participants for research purposes is not private use and requires permission.


It is often not possible to archive copyrighted data in a data repository or otherwise release it for reuse without the permission of the copyright holder. Similarly, it is typically not possible to publish data without permission. For example, a permission to publish a photo may be needed from the photographer, the owner of the photo, the people featured in the photo, and the party that may have previously published the photo. In the case of photographs, the term of copyright affects the use of the images.

  • An ordinary photograph is protected for 50 years from the end of the year in which it was taken.
  • A photograph that exceeds the threshold of originality is granted normal copyright protection, i.e. 70 years from the end of the year of the photographer's death.

Further information: Aalto University's ImagOA guide: Utilising material produced by third parties in publications.

Research participants can also produce copyrighted data for research purposes (photographs, texts, drawings, poems, videos). The use of this data must always be agreed upon separately with the research subjects.

For more information on agreeing on data, see FSD's Data Management Guidelines.

Copyrighted data can also contain personal data (especially photographs, videos), in which case the legislation on the processing of personal data must be considered. This requires, among other things, appropriate data protection documentation. You must ask for permission to use the image from the persons appearing in it.

Even if the image can be used from a copyright perspective, the protection of personal data and privacy may restrict the use and publication of the image.

ImagOA: Photographs as personal information.


The use of research data in research may involve various intellectual property rights (IPR). Research data can be, for example, databases that may include:

  • Copyright: However, research data is not always protected by copyright, as it is rarely unique enough.
  • Sui generis database rights, or
  • Catalogue and database protection (Copyright Act §49).

For a database to be eligible for database rights, the collection, verification, or presentation of its contents has required considerable effort. In the independent research conducted at the University, the right to the database is vested in the researcher. If the database has been created during an employment relationship or contract research, the University has an interest in the resulting output in accordance with the intellectual property policies of the University community. Texts, images, and videos in the database may also contain copyrighted material. The copyright for these belongs to their authors, and their usage rights must be agreed upon separately.

Read more in the Copyright page of the guide.


Research permits

If the research involves employees of an organisation or a company, you will most likely need a research permit. For example, municipalities usually have their own research permit practices.

Please note that Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences have different research permit practices.

For Tampere University, the granting of a research permit is tied to certain situations, and a research permit is not required for researchers, teachers, and students at Tampere University, but only for those outside the University.

For Tampere University of Applied Sciences, research permits are primarily granted for scientific and thesis research projects that develop the University of Applied Sciences, higher education degrees, fields of study at TAMK, or student services.


P. 0294 520 900

Kirjaston kotisivut | Library homepage

Palaute | Feedback