KANTO – National Agent Data: https://finto.fi/finaf/en/

The code name for Kanto is finaf (http://www.loc.gov/standards/sourcelist/name-title.html). We recommend to use it whenever you need to adress the source of metadata.

Contact us
If you have any questions about metadata in Kanto, if any data in Kanto is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, please contact us at toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi.

General

What is Kanto? And how is it related to the National Library Name Database?

KANTO – National Agent Data is a data repository containing the standard name forms of agents, who are the authors or subjects of materials published in Finland. These name forms are generated in connection with creating descriptions for the National Bibliography. In addition to the descriptions of persons and organisations related to publications produced in Finland, Kanto contains some data on foreign persons and organisations. Kanto is an online version of the Asteri name database.

Asteri is a name or agent database maintained by the National Library of Finland, which describes agents included in publication data. The authorized or standard name forms in Asteri collect different name forms together (e.g. forms in different languages or different spellings), and they also help to distinguish between persons or organisations with the same name.

The amount of personal data published in Kanto is based on an assessment of what information is necessary for the identification of materials and agents.

What is an agent and agent metadata?

An agent refers to a person or corporate body related to published scientific or artistic material, or manuscript or archive material, for example.

Person means a real person or an identity created by a real person (alone or together with one or more other persons).

Corporate body refers to an organisation or group of individuals, who are known by a specific name and act or may act as a single entity. Corporate bodies may be more permanent (e.g. association, company, university) or temporary (e.g. conference, festival, competition) in nature.

An agent may be, for example, a writer, composer, musical group or publisher. It may also be a person or organisation that is the subject of a book, such as a royal person, political activist, wartime battalion or local company.

Agent metadata refers to the descriptions of persons and organisations in the Library’s Name Database.

In what cases are agents described in the Library’s Name Database?

The statutory duties of the National Library include the storage, collection and making available of information related to its materials and collections. The description of agents in the name database maintained by the National Library is related to the Finnish National Bibliography; in other words, the descriptions usually concern persons and organisations, that are the authors or the subject of materials published in Finland. Foreign agents are described if it is necessary for data search purposes.

Agents will be described in the Name Database:

  • when a publication in the National Collection is to be described
  • if the agent’s name has several forms
  • if there are several agents with the same name
  • if the agent’s name has changed or the person has multiple identities
  • upon request.
What are the standards that define agent metadata?

When describing agents, libraries comply with the following international standards and guidelines, for example:

Why is agent metadata produced?

Descriptions of agents related to materials are created to facilitate data search and to ensure the quality of the data contained in libraries’ databases. The description of agents also facilitates the work of those who describe published material.

  • Descriptions make it possible to identify agents unambiguously.
  • Agent description data can be used to distinguish between agents with the same name.
  • Description data combines the different spellings and language versions of an agent’s name.
  • If publications related to one identity include different name forms, one of them is chosen to be used in the description of the material. Uniform name forms facilitate the work of those who describe material and benefit customers, who will find the materials related to one identity with a single author or keyword search.
What does the name database maintained by the National Library contain?

The Asteri name database maintained by the National Library contains metadata on nearly 155,000 people and around 49,500 organisations (July 2021).

Toimijoita kuvaillaan Kansalliskirjaston ylläpitämään nimitietokantaan kansallisbibliografian näkökulmasta eli kuvailua yleensä tehdään henkilöistä ja yhteisöistä, jotka ovat Suomessa julkaistuissa aineistoissa tekijöinä tai kohteena.

What information is stored in the Agent Metadata?

When describing agents related to the National Library’s National Collection, it is considered necessary to include the following information:

  • name of the agent (real name, full name, different name forms, different spellings)
  • dates and places associated with the agent
  • occupation and industry/industries in which the person or organisation is or has been engaged
  • relationships between agents and public identities
  • standard and other identifiers identifying the agent (e.g. ISNI, ORCID)
  • sources of information used in the description.
What sources of information are used to describe agents?

The general source of information is mainly the material to be included and described in the National Collection. In addition to this material, the sources of information include Finnish reference books, registers, online dictionaries and encyclopaedias, authors’ own websites, publishers’ websites, newspapers, etc. Sometimes information is received from the creators themselves. The sources of information used to describe agents are public.

The sources of information used to describe foreign agents include other countries’ national bibliographies and the VIAF database (http://viaf.org/). The information is retrieved from a source that is as up to date as possible.


The reliability of online sources of information is always assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Why is agent data published as open data?

The National Library aims to make the data it produces open whenever possible.

  • Open data ensures that the data of agents related to publications produced in Finland is openly available and usable in all libraries, including those outside the Melinda library network. Open data is also available in other organisations in the library, archive and museum sector and in public administration organisations.
  • The high-quality work carried out in the National Library provides visibility and improves the transparency of the work.
  • Making name data open helps to reduce the duplication of work done by libraries and makes it possible to harmonise data and link it to other databases. The aim in uniform name data and openness is to ensure that both domestic and foreign databases contain correct data on Finnish agents.
  • Open data makes it possible, for example, to link Wikidata with data in the ISNI database and to expand agent metadata. The linking of ORCID researcher identifiers could also be useful.
  • By making agent data related to publications produced in Finland open, the National Library contributes to the construction of an international metadata network. This will improve the efficiency of open metadata production and data retrieval internationally.
Can I view the information in Kanto in English?

The language of agent descriptions is Finnish, but texts and titles in the Kanto view in Finto have been translated into English.

The user interface language can be changed from the menu in the upper right corner of the Finto.fi service (suomi/på svenska/in English).

How do I contact the Kanto administrators?

If you have any questions or clarifications, or you want to give feedback, please contact us: toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi.

About Data Processing

We value your privacy and your right to protect your personal data. Everyone has the right to know what data has been stored about them and how it is processed. The data protection statement below specifies, among other things, what kind of personal data is processed in the agent descriptions, why and on what basis. If you have any questions related to the processing of data, please contact us at: toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi.

Who is the data controller in Kanto?

The controller, i.e., the party responsible for processing your data, is the National Library of Finland. The controller’s contact person is Nina Hyvönen.

Our contact details:

National Library of Finland
Library Network Services
PO Box 15
00014 University of Helsinki

Service address (requests for supplementing and correcting personal data): toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi

Contact details of the Data Protection Officer: tietosuoja @ helsinki.fi

What kind of personal data do we process?

We process the following personal data in the Library’s name database:

  • names related to the public identities of the person (given names and surname, previous names, pseudonyms, pen names)
  • occupation and industry of the person
  • organisation(s) related to the person
  • qualifications and titles of the person (if known)
  • year of birth or years of life and death of the person
  • place(s) associated with the person
  • identifiers related to the person (e.g. ORCID, ISNI and similar identifiers)
  • publications to which the person is related as the author or the subject.

We do not process people’s personal identification numbers or contact information.

Why do we process your personal data?

Your personal data is needed for the National Library’s name database for the following purposes, for example:

  • to identify persons unambiguously
  • to distinguish between persons with the same name
  • to facilitate the description of material and data retrieval
  • to ensure the quality of the data contained in libraries’ databases
  • to obtain an ISNI identifier.

Personal data is collected and stored in order to facilitate data retrieval, ensure the quality of library databases and preserve cultural heritage. The management of collections requires that both the agents related to and results of creative work can be identified and distinguished, and that information concerning them can be preserved as comprehensively and intelligibly as possible for future generations.

What is the legal basis for the processing your personal data?

The processing of personal data in Kanto is based, above all, on Article 6 of the EU Data Protection Regulation (2016/679) and the following paragraph of Section 4 of the Data Protection Act (1050/2018):

  • the processing of research material and cultural heritage material containing personal data and the processing of personal data included in their metadata for archiving purposes is necessary and proportionate to the aim of public interest pursued and to the rights of the data subject.

Main legislative acts:

Who processes your personal data?

The data stored in the Asteri Name Database (and published in Kanto) are maintained by the National Library’s agent metadata experts.

In addition to the National Library, Asteri’s data providers include a few university libraries that maintain the data of doctoral candidates related to their university.

How do different universities process personal data found in dissertation announcements?

In addition to the National Library, Asteri’s data providers include a few university libraries that maintain the data of doctoral candidates related to their university.

Principles of personal data processing can be found in these links to the pages of the universities who provide data to the Asteri database:

Why weren't you informed of the library describing authors?

The library has collected data on persons related to the resources during several decades. Informing all registered persons and asking their permission afterwards would require an unreasonable amount of work considering the nature of the matter and risks involved in processing these data.

Where does the personal data come from, i.e. what is the origin of the data?

The personal data in the register is stored in connection with describing materials. The data is mainly derived from described materials. Lifetime data is collected from public sources, such as registers or from the persons themselves. The student register of the University of Helsinki may be used as a source of information for the year of birth and field of activity of a student of the university.

How long do we keep your personal data?

The data used to unambiguously identify agents is stored permanently.

Requests for supplementing and correcting personal data can be emailed to the Agent Metadata Service at toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi.

To whom do we disclose your data?

The description data contained in the National Library’s name database is available in Kanto in the Finto service.

The description data can be freely extracted and used with the help of the open interfaces provided by the National Library.

What rights do you have?

Right to verify and rectify personal data

You have the right to know, whether the National Library processes personal data related to you.

In addition, you have the right to know, what personal data related to you are processed.

Requests for supplementing and correcting personal data can be emailed to the Agent Metadata Service at toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi

Individual details concerning a person may be modified at the person’s request. However, such modifications must be made in a way that the principles of unambiguous identification are also fulfilled with the information remaining in the name database.

Personal Data Entry Policies

What data is needed to unambiguously identify a person?

To enable the unambiguous identification of agents also in the future, the following information, if known, is defined as mandatory in the agent descriptions:

  • name of the person and variants related to the name (including surname and given name(s), abbreviated name, possible transliterations of the name)
  • date of birth/years of life and death of the person
  • industry
  • occupation
  • country and/or places associated with the person
  • organisations related to the person.

Descriptions are made with the help of the publications at hand or using various reference books, registers or online sources of information. The reliability of the sources of information is always assessed on a case-by-case basis. It is important to store all the information known at the time of the description so that the person can also be identified later, after 50 years, for example.

There is no other person with my name. Why is my year of birth added?

A name form that is unambiguous at the moment of description may become ambiguous at a later point in time. It may be that in the future, the name alone will not suffice for identification, and such a situation is anticipated with the help of the year of birth information.

How are a person’s occupation and industry defined?

The professional terms used in the description of agents are extracted from the Metadata thesaurus (Metatietosanasto), while the industry terms are extracted from the YSO-ontology.

The data of a person’s occupation and the related industry are based on information available at the time of description and derived from the material to be described at hand or reference books, registers or other sources of information.

In some cases, however, there is no information available on the agent’s profession. In such cases, the author’s industry is determined on the basis of the subject matter of the material.

If you notice that any data is incomplete or incorrect, please contact us at toimjakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi.

What identifiers are included in the description?

Identifiers related to agents play an important role in the description.

ISNI identifiers have been acquired for agents included in the National Library’s namedatabase. ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) identifies the public identities of persons and organisations globally, uniquely and permanently.

The National Library of Finland is an ISNI Registration Agency in Finland. More information on ISNI identifiers is available on the ISNI information package website (in Finnish, translation in English is on progress).

ORCID researcher identifiers are also included in the descriptions, but not systematically. ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is an international digital researcher identifier.

The descriptions also include companies’ business IDs. A business ID is an identifier issued by an authority that is used to identify a company. Finnish business IDs can be searched in the Business Information System (YTJ).

In the case of foreign agents in particular, the VIAF identifier is also included in the description. VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) is an internationally agreed identification number for a personal data description file. 

Correction and completion of data

How often is the data displayed in Kanto updated?

Agent data is reviewed from time to time. In most cases, data is reviewed when a new publication is to be described. Data are also updated upon request.

The aim of describing agents is to produce high-quality and consistent information that lasts over time. Descriptions are created in accordance with description standards, and the principle is that agents are described comprehensively and all elements relevant for identification are included in the descriptions. Descriptions are made with the help of the publications at hand or using various reference books, registers or online sources of information. The reliability of the sources of information is always assessed on a case-by-case basis.

However, it should be noted that the name database contains layers of different time periods and description practices. In old agent descriptions in particular, information is scarce. If you notice that any data is incomplete or incorrect, please contact us at: toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi.

How can I complete outdated or incorrect information?

If any data in Kanto is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, please contact us at toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi.

In your message, tell us which information you want to correct or complete and which sources of information you base your information on.

Why is my name associated with a publication to which I have not contributed?

Sometimes the publications of persons with the same name are confused with one another.

If you notice that there are errors in the linking of materials, please contact us at toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi.
Why is my publication registered to another person?

Sometimes the publications of persons with the same name are confused with one another.

If you notice that there are errors in the linking of materials, please contact us at toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi In your message, please also provide us with some basic information about yourself so that we can identify you unambiguously.

Why are only some of my publications shown in the Kanto?

The data on the materials related to an author is retrieved from the National Bibliography, and, therefore, the list of materials in Kanto may appear to be incomplete. In addition, the list of materials in Kanto does not include articles.

How can I add an ORCID to my data?

If you would like to supplement your data with an ORCID, please contact us at toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi.

Do you still have a questions?

If you did not find an answer to your question on this page, please contact us at toimijakuvailu-posti @ helsinki.fi.

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