Digital Preservation of Research Data in Tampere University

Unlike paper documents, the preservation of digital research data for several decades or even centuries requires active measures. As hardware, software, and file formats will become outdated, in order to preserve the information stored into them, the information integrity must be constantly monitored, and various risks be anticipated. Metadata describing, e.g., the provenance, the information contents, and in which way they can be used, is in a key role in this. Since 2019, the Ministry of Culture and Education (through CSC) provides the Finnish universities and research institutes with a service for digital preservation of research data, Fairdata PAS (PAS = pitkäaikaissäilytys = long-term preservation).

This service is, however, far from a drag and drop system, as the data intended to be stored into the system need to go through juridical, quality, and technical validations and be made suitable for archiving. Due to the archival standard used, the data stored in the Fairdata PAS is in a form that is not usable for end-users as such, but the data provider needs to build its own access point. Furthermore, the data providers have a storage quota in the system, which means that the data intended to be stored into Fairdata PAS must go through an appraisal mechanism. This all is very resource intensive and cannot be fully automated.

The PASData project in Tampere University addresses these challenges. The project team (lead by PM Turkka Näppilä) comprises of specialists from the Library, FSD, ICT Services, Research Services, and Records Management. In the project, we (1) validate the PAS process model developed in the T3 Open Science and Research project, and (2) develop a proof of concept of the technical capabilities needed to transferring data to and from the Fairdata PAS service. The project runs between 2/2020 and 2/2021.

For more information: Project Manager Turkka Näppilä,