4.4.5 Data management plan and processing of research data

Before you can start collecting data, you need to have a very well-thought-out research plan for your thesis and, in many cases, a well-developed knowledge base. The thesis plan is supplemented by a data management plan.

If you have applied for a research permit, you will not able to start collecting the data until it has been granted to you.

So do this in the following order:

  1. Thesis plan, attached by a data management plan
  2. Possible research permit, attached by a data management plan and a possible research plan
  3. Data collection can begin.

The data management plan is part of the thesis plan

The data management plan describes what different kind of data you collect, how you store and distribute the data, what legislative (e.g. data protection) or contractual issues are related to the data, and what is done to it when the thesis is completed. The purpose of the data management plan is to ensure that good scientific practice is followed in the thesis. It is also intended to ensure that research data is never compromised.

The aforementioned issues must always be resolved as part of the research work. The data management plan and its instructions help with this. The data management plan complements the thesis plan, so avoid unnecessary overlap. Attach the data management plan to your thesis plan. You will also need a data management plan if you are applying for a research permit or a preliminary ethical review.

Data management plan template

Create a data management plan using the Word template at the end of this page. The document also includes instructions on how to draw up the plan and what it should include.

Note! Jamk’s thesis data management plan practices have been updated in May 2022. If you have previously started the plan with the DMP Tuuli tool, you can complete it with it.

Indicators and research data

At this stage, you will compile an indicator suitable for collecting data, i.e. a tool by which you can collect data for your thesis. The results of your work are based on your analysis of the data. You are also expected to be able to describe the implementation stage of your research, so you should keep notes of everything.

Research data can be in the form of text, image, video or sound:

  • Primary data includes data acquired through surveys, interviews, workshops or measurement and observation, for example.
  • Secondary data includes preexisting data, such as biographies, diaries, official statistics, registries, databases, archives, data produces by the commissioner, etc. If you use secondary data, be sure to also take any applicable copyrights into account.

Storage, archiving and destroying of data

Storage and transmission of data during the thesis project

Plan where you will store your thesis data, how you will manage its user rights, and what you will do with the data once the thesis has been completed. Store the data carefully and securely, taking into account any agreements made with the commissioner. The methods and access rights used may vary depending on the type of study and the stage of the thesis.

The selected solutions are described and justified in the data management plan. This list will help you choose your solutions.

Personal home directory on Jamk servers

At Jamk, you can use a personal home directory (H drive) for your data. The network drive is suitable for storing confidential and sensitive data. The H drives are located on Jamk’s own servers and backed up daily. Jamk’s workstations are encrypted, which makes it virtually impossible to restore files. The H drive can also be accessed through remote.jamk.fi.

OneDrive for Business (OneDrive – Jamk), Microsoft Teams (Jamk user account), and other O365 services

Log in to the services using specifically the Jamk account (see Links below). This gives you more storage space and functionality, and Jamk’s data is contractually protected. The partnership agreement between various universities allows for higher quality and, above all, more secure storage space for files in the cloud compared to private user accounts. However, the services are not suitable for confidential, sensitive information, but you can store personal data there. The mobile user should take care of the security of their phone.

  • In OneDrive, files can be accessed from different devices anytime, anywhere. Files can be edited simultaneously. OneDrive is personal and will be removed if the user leaves Jamk. That is also when the data will also be removed from the service! No backups of OneDrive data will be made by Jamk.
  • Teams is the most versatile service for working together. In addition to workers and students, people outside Jamk can also be involved. Teams will remain at the disposal of the organisation if they leave Jamk. In such case, a new administrator must be assigned to the team (either the outgoing administrator configures or this is requested from the Jamk HelpDesk). Teams is not backed up by Jamk.

FileSender (forwarding large files)

FileSender is a file transfer service that you can use with Jamk’s user ID through HAKA login (see Links below). The service is suitable for sending large files securely instead of as an email attachment (up to 50 GB). You can specify how long you share the file and when the file transfer expires and can no longer be downloaded. All transactions will be notified to the distributor. The service is provided by CSC and the servers are located in Finland. The service is not suitable for the transmission of sensitive information.

Webropol survey system

Jamk uses the Webropol survey system for personnel and students (see Links below). You can assign access to your survey to Jamk students or personnel. The programme ensures that personal data related to surveys is retained within the EU. The programme complies with high security standards and all its servers are located in Finland. If you use Webropol to create a survey related to the study, you must take into account the requirements for the processing and storage of personal data in the survey system. The same principles apply to other survey systems. The system is not a permanent storage location for the data.

ICT systems and home use licences

Jamk offers students various ICT systems and software as well as home use licences (see Links below).

Other storage methods

On a case-by-case basis, consider whether the chosen method is suitable and reliable for storing the data and discuss the solution with your thesis supervisor or commissioner. The storage solutions provided by the commissioner must also ensure that the data security and data protection for the processing of the data are taken into account. Memory sticks and external hard drives are not considered a secure way of storing or transmitting data. The computer desktop is not a secure storage method.

Destroying or archiving of data after the completion of the thesis

Destroying of data

As a rule, the data of a thesis does not need to be saved permanently. Jamk is not responsible for storing the data of the theses. The data to be destroyed will be deleted so that the data cannot be restored. Certain data, e.g. memory sticks, are discarded by crushing, or in case of paper data, by shredding.

Archiving data

  • Archiving the data for yourself: If you justifiably store the thesis data after the thesis has been completed, it must be stored securely and in such a way that the data can be used later. Information that enables identification must be permanently removed from the data (anonymisation).
  • Agreed with the commissioner: Agree with the commissioner on a secure method of storing the data that is kept unchanged if there is a justified reason for this, for example, due to further use. Information that enables identification must be permanently removed from the data (anonymisation). If the commissioner is a university of applied sciences or other Finnish research organisation, the data storage services available to them may be used for storage. Check with your commissioner about the options offered by the organisation.
  • Archiving to a data archive and opening of the data and its descriptive data: High-quality data can be stored in a data archive, from where others can download it for further use openly/in a limited manner. The data must be anonymous. The data is stored in a reliable location and its descriptive information (metadata) and access rights (open/restricted) are published. After that, the data, metadata and its authors can be found through search services (Research.fi). You can offer the data to the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) or you can save and describe it yourself through various services (IDA, Zenodo). The options and prerequisites for archiving and opening should be examined in advance, for example through the organisation’s support services. Support services for Jamk students and personnel are available at att(a)jamk.fi.

Remember that the respondents must always be informed of how the data is stored when the data is collected.

If you want to make the data or other outputs, outcomes or results related to the thesis reusable, see the licence instructions below (University of Helsinki). Also keep in mind copyright issues.


Data management plan template for thesis (docx)


Data management guidelines (Finnish Social Science Data Archive)

Informing Research Participants (Finnish Social Science Data Archive)

Thesis includes video (ELMO intranet)

Thesis and data protection (ELMO intranet)

Research permit (jamk.fi)

Microsoft O365 services for students at Jamk (login required)

FileSender (login required)

Processing personal data in the Webropol survey programme (ELMO intranet)

Webropol survey system at Jamk (ELMO intranet)

ICT systems and software (Jamk HelpDesk)

Home use licences (Jamk HelpDesk)

Licence instructions (University of Helsinki)