Skip to main content

Support for Establishment of National/Regional Social Sciences Data Archives

Final Report Summary - SERSCIDA (Support for Establishment of National/Regional Social Sciences Data Archives)

Executive Summary:
1.1 Executive summary
This report presents the activities and outcomes from an FP7 grant entitled ‘Support for Establishment of National/Regional Social Science Data Archives’ (SERSCIDA) awarded under a theme to Reinforce European strategies on access, dissemination and preservation of scientific information in the digital age.
SERSCIDA was a strategic project to supporting the cooperation and exchange of knowledge between the EU countries associated within the Council of European Social Sciences Data Archives (CESSDA) and the Western Balkan (WB) countries in the field of social science data archiving. The project addressed the issues surrounding the application of ICT for the benefits of scientific research and exchange of knowledge in three of the partner countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. The overarching goals were to improve the capacity for exchange of knowledge between Europe and the Balkan partners and to facilitate and stimulate greater use of social science data collected through research in social sciences.

The project has achieved a significant level of success. It has:
• raised awareness of the economic benefits to data sharing in the West Balkans;
• promoted the value and benefits of data archives as gateways to data and as facilitators of research;
• opened local discussion and debate about the collaborative activities that could be undertaken between data archives and national statistical institutes;
• engaged with local funding bodies to aid their understanding of the costs and benefits of supporting sustainable data services; and
• put in place the operational foundations for three new European data services.
Particular highlights are the methodology applied to assess the potential and readiness of each country for the establishment of an archive and the collation, by established partner organisations, of exemplar documents and procedures for reference by anyone wishing to follow in the SERSCIDA footsteps and establish new archives.
However, the greatest and most visible successes are the burgeoning Balkan archives and the awareness and support for data sharing which each has generated amongst their research and data-producing communities. Coupled with an enhanced understanding of the benefits of providing sustained funding for national data services, the project has enabled the building of the foundations for the sharing of data has cemented relationships between these new data services and CESSDA.
The remainder of this report provides more detail on the activities and impact of the project.

Project Context and Objectives:
1.2 Summary of project context and main objectives
Support for Establishment of National/Regional Social Sciences Data Archives (SERSCIDA) was designed as a strategic project for supporting the cooperation and exchange of knowledge between the European Union (EU) countries, Council of European Social Sciences Data Archives (CESSDA) members, and the Western Balkan (WB) countries in the field of social science data archiving. The project addressed issues concerning the usage possibilities of information-communication technologies for the benefits of scientific research and exchange of knowledge. The aim if the project was to produce tangible results and improve the capacities for exchange of knowledge and data collected through research in social sciences between the European countries and WB involved as well as to help build the capacity in running the research infrastructure that supports, promotes and enables the sharing of research data.

The four main objectives of SERSCIDA were to:
• support the establishment of social science data archives in order to increase the level of sharing and preserving data collected through research in WB countries;
• identify potentials and infrastructures for establishment of social science data archives in WB countries involved;
• enhance the exchange of knowledge and sharing of data collected through research in social sciences in the WB countries and EU – CESSDA countries; and
• increase the level of understanding and support for open access policies through involvement of policy and decision makers in WB countries.

SERSCIDA was implemented in an environment that did not have a history of systematic or institutionalised research data sharing. The primary social science research data remained mainly in the possession of researchers or research institutions that conduct specific research projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. Research on the post conflict period in these countries, in particular in social science, is essential for the European scientific community in particular in fields of research that study transitions in societies, historical legacies, societal transformations of post-socialist societies, post-conflict societies, forced migration, social exclusions, etc. Data collected, despite being of high significance and usefulness for social scientists (both in these countries and internationally), remained unavailable for any further exploration. It was exposed to risk of damage and destruction despite its historical and scientific value. There were no existing or sustainable social science data archives that would deal with issues of preservation and archiving of those primary data.
The results of commonly prepared analysis on the potentials of data archives in WB countries confirmed the fears that data archiving is not in practice at any level. Data was in 55% of cases kept by the participants themselves on their personal computers (BiH in 39% of cases, Croatia 72% and Serbia 55%) and in 47% of cases also on several computers or media (BiH 34%, Croatia 56%, Serbia 51%), while in 25% of cases on computers of other participants in the project (BiH 11%, Croatia 35%, Serbia 29%). The institution server or specialized data archive were used for storing of data collected during the last research by a very small number of participants (9%) who referenced how they stored their data (BiH 6%, Croatia 11%, Serbia 10%).


In addition to research institutions and think-tanks, many non-governmental organisations in WB countries were conducting social science research for their beneficiaries’ needs assessments and sharing the results with their donors. Multilateral and bilateral donors were often commissioning, directly or through implementation partners, significant research pertaining to the development, political environment and other issues that would aid them in creating adequate assistance programmes. In particular, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, significant donor funds were channelled to research and produce social science data that would provide a temporary replacement for the census that had not happened for 22 years. However the data compiled for these purposes remained out of reach for any secondary research or analysis and could be lost forever.
Statistical institutions and other public institutions that produce significant data do not have the capacities to be data service providers for the researchers and can offer only limited access to their data and only through public websites.
Research institutions in WB countries were faced with the problem of possible loss of valuable research data forever due to the lack of infrastructure and capacities for archiving such data in an adequate manner. At the same time, many European countries have specialised institutions – data archives/services in social sciences – dealing with archiving and preserving data collected through research, as well as providing easier access to data for research and research institutions as needed. The aspiration was that all three WB participating countries, after receiving support through SERSCIDA will in near future become members of the CESSDA family, fully fulfilling the requirements for professionally running the data archive/service. CESSDA provides access to more than 25,000 data collections for more than 30,000 researchers in social sciences and humanities within the European Research Area.
SERSCIDA has brought together four CESSDA Service Providers institutions and three Western Balkan institutions interested and committed to establishing data archives in social sciences in their countries. Knowledge and experience have been shared between the CESSDA partners and Western Balkan institutions through joint design and implementation of all on-going project activities. Both the established data archives and the establishing ones benefited from this collaboration.
From the beginning of the SERSCIDA project, it has been met with much appreciation and interest both by policy makers (government institutions) as well as future data producers and users (universities and researchers). This was already shown in high participation at the SERSCIDA International Conference (D3.1) and four National Round Tables, as well as the final Dissemination Meeting (D6.2).
The inclusion of statistical institutions in the process was assisted by a sister FP7 Project Data Without Borders, which invited the SERSCIDA project to participate in their regional workshops dedicated to the establishment and strengthening of co-operation between data archive/service institutions/initiatives and statistical institutions. This enhanced the understanding of the statistical institutions on the significance and potential role of future data archives/services in WB countries when it comes to disseminating data produced by statistical institutions. It also heightened the awareness of SERSCIDA project partners of the importance of partnerships with statistical institutions in the development and functioning of data archives/services.

Project Results:
1.3 Description of the main S&T results/foregrounds

SERSCIDA addresses one of the FP7 areas within the Capacities theme that calls for the development of research infrastructures. The role of research infrastructures is growing and they are considered essential for the advancement of knowledge, technology and their exploitation. Research infrastructures require need a broad range of expertise to be developed and this project brought together researchers, scientists, non-governmental organisations to devise the most efficient and effective ways of opening access to research data in social sciences so that it can be used and exploited by a large community of scientists, primarily in the Western Balkans, but equally in Europe and globally.
All objectives were achieved during the project implementation, and form a part of the foreground of the project at this stage.

More particularly, during the project, the following was realized:
• Mapping of the existing context, needs and prerequisites for the establishment of social science data archives in the three Western Balkan countries (D2.1 Analysis of existing potentials for establishment of social sciences digital data archive in Bosnia and Herzegovina, D2.2 Analysis of existing potentials for establishment of social sciences digital data archive in Croatia and D2.3 Analysis of existing potentials for establishment of social sciences digital data archive in Serbia)
• Bringing together of key international, European and regional experts in the social science data archiving and servicing in order to raise the awareness of the project itself to the key stakeholders – researchers, policy makers, universities, statistics institutions and research think-tanks, as well as to share the mapping reports expand partnership at national level in each of the WB countries (D3.1 Conference Report)
• Definition of a detailed action plan that will guide the establishment of social sciences digital data archives in the three WB countries (D4.1 Detailed action plan for establishment of social sciences digital data archives)
• Development of training materials that can be used for the training of future staff of the newly established social science data archives and services in the WB, but also other future data archives/services (D4.2 Training modules for establishment of social sciences digital data archives)
• Capacity-building in the field of data archive/service organisation, data archiving processes, managing data, cooperation with data users, policy development, fundraising and partnership with data producing institutions. Six trainings and visits to four CESSDA member countries were organised for future data archive/services users and managers, researchers, IT experts and Government policy makers from the three WB countries, while SERSCIDA staff also took part in CESSDA trainings and conferences. (D.4.3 Reports from trainings organised)
• Identification of required documents and materials that will be necessary to support the functioning of data archives/services and development of specific documents for that purpose (D5.1 Documents and materials for social science s digital data archive)
• Development of a website for the three WB countries that will host the prototype database (D5.2 Report on website for database)
• Development of a prototype database that will be used in the future work of the three WB social science data archives/services (D5.3 Report on prototype database)
• Dissemination of project achievements through the development of a project web page, (D6.2 SERSCIDA Web Page), regular meetings with key national stakeholders and Dissemination Meeting (D6.2 Dissemination Meeting Report)

The SERSCIDA approach, example of key stakeholders, developed plans, required documentation, websites and database prototype can be used to assist the establishment and implementation of future data archives/services throughout the world.


1.4 Analysis of existing potentials for establishment of social sciences digital data archive in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia (D2.1 D2.2 and D2.3)

The purpose of the analysis was to map the existing potentials for establishing social science data archives in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. In addition to illustrating the existing potentials for the establishment of data archives, the reports included recommendations for setting up a data archives in these three WB countries. In addition to desk review analysis of legal and policy frameworks, an online survey with a questionnaire targeting researchers, while interviews were held with representatives of potential hosts of the data service infrastructure, as well as with research policy and funding institutions.

The conclusions of the analysis were that:
• there is no digital data archiving of social science research and there is no single institution that can provide both research community support in data services and IT data archiving;
• legislative and policy frameworks provides an enabling environment for the establishment of a data archive and service;
• Government institutions consider that the establishment of a data archive and service is a beneficial and significant development in the sectors of higher education and scientific research;
• partial funding, albeit limited, can be provided to support the work of data services;
• researchers in these three WB countries have shown an interest in co-operating with a data service, both in depositing and using research data, as well as using it for both their research and teaching.

Figure 1. Extent to which researchers would we willing to share their data in a secure manner with a data archiving service/institution (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia)

The recommendations were that:

• data services are established in cooperation with the three SERSCIDA national coordinating institutions in WB; and
• the establishment of social science data services is carried out in cooperation among the key institutions:

Bosnia and Herzegovina
− University of Sarajevo, Human Rights Centre
− Federal Ministry of Education and Science
− Ministry for Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina
− Agency of Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina
− National and University Library of Republic of Srpska

Croatia
− University of Croatia, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
− University Computer Centre of the Zagreb University – Srce
− Ministry of Science, Education and Sports
− National Council for Science
− Agency for Science and Higher Education
− Croatian Science Foundation
Serbia
− Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development
− Institute of Economic Sciences
− Computer Centre of the Belgrade University
− Institute for Social Research, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
− Institute of Social Science
− Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia.


1.5 Detailed action plan for establishment of social sciences digital data archives (D4.1)

The purpose was to complete initial "roadmaps" or "blueprints" to guide the establishment and operation of new data services in the three participating WB countries of the SERSCIDA project, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia. The general aim of the roadmaps is to detail all activities deemed as necessary prerequisites for functional data services, including: definition of institutional scope and organizational structure; staffing and training; technical infrastructure (e.g. computers, software, and telecommunications); archiving policy and procedures; and outreach and communications.
Most of the features of the establishment plan were realized before the end of the SERSCIDA project. Other features, such as hiring of new staff, will lie outside of the scope of the project, and will depend on future financing from various national and international sources. In any event, it should be noted that the establishment plan is meant to be a “living document”. The current version reflects our most recent thinking and expectations, and the work remaining toward establishing data services in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia, to be carried out during the period after SERSCIDA and before "day one".
Discerning the outlines of future data services has been made possible by earlier work within the project. The work had taken things a step further by adding a great deal of detail to the outlines, effectively making matters more concrete. Following the Belgrade conference (D3.1) the SERSCIDA partners met in Ljubljana, Slovenia to discuss lessons learned, prospects for new data services, and a draft structure for the roadmaps. The good news was that prospects for data services are very promising in the three countries, although the new institutions will be somewhat different in terms of their host institutions, partnerships, and dependencies. In Bosnia, the new data service will be hosted at the University of Sarajevo Human Rights Centre. In Serbia, the Institute of Economic Sciences (IES) Belgrade will be the lead institution and host of the future data service, while the Belgrade University Computer Centre (RCUB) will provide IT and data management support. In Croatia, the new data service will also involve the cooperation of two existing institutions, the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the University of Zagreb University Computing Centre. The former will provide expertise in data management and will promote use of the archived data, and the latter will provide technical infrastructure and support.
It was also decided in Ljubljana that while three separate national data services is the most realistic approach, important synergies can be generated by relying on some shared infrastructure, databases, standards, and a regional data portal that will allow for discovery of data and research information from all three services. Further, the data services will share skills and specific expertise in different areas (e.g. IES on how to handle complex economic data and BH on treating qualitative data). Commonalities of approach will also be necessitated to some degree by specific requirements of the CESSDA, since the three data services will be committed to aligning themselves with the operational obligations for CESSDA service providers. This will facilitate the entry process should the newly established data services wish to seek membership within CESSDA.
As for the roadmap structure, the meeting in Ljubljana led to important revisions of the document, specifically with respect to the features of both the establishment plan and for the operational plan. Besides these revisions, the three regional teams started work at the meeting filling in the details, with support from the CESSDA partners present (from the UKDA, ADP, and FORS). It is now clear that while there are significant commonalities between the three countries, there are also national specificities that make it necessary to produce three separate establishment plans.
The current establishment plans are presented are each divided into four major sections: 1. Definition of organisation and internal structure; 2. Human resources; 3. Technical infrastructure; and 4. Policy, quality control, and workflows. For each activity there is a description that provides further detail. The document goes further by including for each activity the "period", "dependencies", and "ownership/resources". The period notes the point at which the work should be completed in relation to the first day of real operation ("day one"). Many of the activities are qualified by dependencies, that is, conditions that may influence the realization or direction of the planned activities. In some cases we have also noted ownership and/or resources, which means those who are responsible for carrying out the work, and the additional resources that will be required.

1.6 Training modules for establishment of social sciences digital data archives (D4.2)

The training material were developed as a support the formation of new data services in the West Balkans and were compiled following the SERSCIDA training event ‘How to set up and run a data service’ which was held at the UK Data Archive, Colchester, in July 2013. The materials, documents and information it provides have not yet been applied to actual tasks in the formation of a new data service and may therefore require alteration as they begin to be used during later stages of the SERSCIDA project.
It is made up of the following sections: Staffing and Management (recruitment, business management, records management), Pre-Ingest (pre-ingest policies and procedures, deposit process, data management guidance and web resources, data management training), Ingest (processing standards, ingest procedures, indexing), Preservation (metadata and security, preservation, metadata and identifiers, trust and security certification), Access (rights and access management, data protection and secure data access), User Support (user query procedures, user support resources), Communications and Publicity (procedures and standards, blogging and social media) and two appendices with Recommended Standards and Tools and UK Data Archive Job Descriptions.
Each section begins with an overview of the function and is followed by summary information relating to the range of documents that a new data service will need to have in place to inform and manage its work. For example, for Pre-Ingest, a collections development policy is recommended; procedures should be in place for managing the ingest process; national policies may influence the organisation’s policy; and deposit forms and licences will be required. The Pre-Ingest section has links to several examples of such documents which can be used either as templates or to otherwise inform new service providers.

Figure 2. The Open Archival Information Systems Model
There are significant advantages to the use of links including: many of the documents relate to a particular organisation and will be updated by the organisation, if documents are copied onto a separate site, there will be resource implications in keeping it up to date; and bringing documents into a single, new site would mean the site owner would have the additional burden of checking that IP is appropriately clear for each document but by linking to the original document on its original site, the IP will be managed locally.
Significant consideration has been given to the delivery mechanism for this material including the possibility of providing it in hard copy form. This is unlikely to be practical because hard copy does not permit easy, immediate access to the web-based materials.
There is general agreement that because so much information and so many of the documents are accessible via the web, the modules lend themselves to being distributed in a digital format. This version, as a PDF, will be made available via the UK Data Archive’s SERSCIDA project page, and the SERSCIDA website.

The project has also contributed to the production of a new pamphlet which has been prepared by UK Data Service staff at Essex. The pamphlet, ‘Depositing shareable survey data’ offers simple advice on the steps that data producers should take if they intend to place data in an archive. The pamphlet has been prepared in response to requests from data depositors and is expected to have significant impact on the quality of data being deposited in archives.

1.7 Reports from capacity-building trainings organised (D.4.3)

The project implementation clearly identified a need for a holistic approach to the trainings. Whilst the partners were becoming aware of elements of the technical language of data provision (in particular, the language of the OAIS reference model) and of the processes these describe, the whole is sufficiently complex to require structured, well-supported training that provides the context and describes the processes required for successful data service provision.
Figure 3. Participation at trainings and visits by country


The UK Data Archive provided this training as a bespoke version of its already well-established course, 'How to set up and run a data service'. Staff from the University of Essex joined the meeting at UESSEX and provided an overview of the standard course and following a detailed discussion of its content, planned an extended and enhanced version of the course for the project team.
The UKDA already had a wealth of available information which it has willingly shared with organisations wishing to set up data centres. This material was not, however, easily accessible so, following the expanded event for the SERSCIDA partners, the UKDA undertook a significant amount of work to collate and restructure this explanatory information into an accessible online resource with links to relevant documents, for use by the partners and future attendees of the course and accessible from its website. The information has been supplemented with links to similar documents from other CESSDA partners where these exist, to demonstrate flexibility and uniqueness between data services at different stages of development, and with different governance structures and cultural experiences.
In addition, ADP offered to organise and host a training event during which the West Balkan teams were supported by the ADP team, in preparing and depositing a dataset at ADP, for use by the social science research community. This proved to be an unplanned but extremely beneficial opportunity for those working to establish a new data service.
Study visits were organised to UL, UESSEX, UGOT and FORS with the participation of policy makers, researchers and university representatives.

Figure 4. Participation in trainings and visits by role of participants.


In addition to the training and information exchange activities that were planned within the project, the WB partners capitalised on opportunities offered by, or in association with, CESSDA including attendance at the CESSDA Trust workshop and the CESSDA expert seminar and participation at the 2013 IASSIST conference and the first regional meeting of the Data without Boundaries project.

1.8 Documents and materials for social sciences digital data archive (D5.1)

This presents the outcomes of the work based in large part on prior work from earlier work packages. It includes two main articles concerning the future establishment of digital data archives in the countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia. The first is what was called “Charter documents”, that is, articles that describe the future data services from an organizational and structural viewpoint. This includes information on the scope and nature of the data services, how these will be administered and staffed, as well as how these are placed within their national contexts in relation to other national and international institutions and organizations.
The second is a set of “Policy and Procedures” documents (one for each country), which lays out in some detail the future rules of the new data services: how they will operate, their purposes, their services, their workflows, their capacities, and their limitations. In a sense, these key documents together provide a nearly complete blueprint for the new data services in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia.
Most notably, the intention of the participating Western Balkan countries is to establish a regional consortium of digital data archives. The aim will be to share to the greatest extent possible knowledge, tools, and experience, in order to make the most data available in the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language as possible to the greatest number of users. While the data services will certainly develop and evolve separately, according to their local contexts, they will do everything possible to harmonize their systems and practices so that data and information can easily flow across national borders. For this reason, the policies and procedures described in later in this document are quite similar across the three countries, even if differences will certainly arise in their realization.

Figure 5. Examples of future data services organizational charts.


An example of this is the focus of all three data services on the critical importance of Open access to data. All of their policies and procedures are geared toward this principle, while of course the data services will at the same time need to strike a balance between openness on the one hand and data protection and confidentiality of research respondent information on the other.

1.9 Report on website for database (D5.2)

Websites are an essential instrument for the new data services, even before these go into operation, since they allow for promotion of the services and tools that will soon be available. The websites will showcase the basic services and policies, and will provide useful links for the research communities in the respective countries concerning data use, data management, and best practice. The websites are all in two languages (local languages and English), and are therefore accessible to both the regional and international science community. The development of these websites included defining their technical features (e.g. servers, domain names, structures, access rights, content management system, etc.) and content. Toward the aim of establishing sister data services in the three countries, as many visual and substantive elements as possible were kept in common across the websites, including how the content is organized. One element is the creation of a logo and visual identity for each country. All three visual identities were inspired by the original SERSCIDA logo design.

All three websites are live and can be visited and reviewed at:
http://www.ba.serscida.eu
http://www.hr.serscida.eu
http://www.rs.serscida.eu
Each website has sections on data use and data deposit, key aspects for any data service. These include guidelines and instructions for researchers interested in getting or giving data. There is another section on policies, which includes information about the nature, purpose, and principles of the services (submitted as part of SERSCIDA deliverable 5.1). This section also includes relevant reports and publications of potential interest for readers. A section about the data service itself includes the charter documents (also part of deliverable 5.1).
Other useful information can be found on the websites, such as news and events, and quick links to relevant resources.

Figure 6. Website structure

1.10 Report on prototype database (D5.3)

OAIS model is compliant with best practice and international standards for social science data archives. The purpose is to provide the tools and processes that will allow the data services to begin building their data collections, to structure data and metadata in ways that allow for discovery and reuse of these, to store and secure data for the long-term, and to provide the conditions and platforms for accessing the data by users. In sum, the prototype supplies a basic archiving infrastructure, with all needed hardware and software.
As has been the case for all previous SERSCIDA project outputs, the intention was to maintain as much commonality as possible across the three data services, and this is especially true for the technical platform. Common and interoperable tools will allow for future data and information sharing, as well as synergies across the regional services.

Server Architecture

For the implementation of the SERSCIDA project several servers where used (see Figure 7):
• Virtual server 1 (in Croatia);
• Virtual server 2 (in Croatia);
• Local servers (in each WB country);
• CESSDA server.

Figure 7. Server architecture.

The Virtual server 1 is used for the hosting of the SERSCIDA web portal, each national web portal, and the collaboration tool. A single WordPress application with three website instances (one for each WB partner) is installed for the national web portals (see SERSCIDA D5.2). Here is the detailed Virtual server 1 configuration:
Configuration: 2 vCPU, 8.0 GB, 100.0 GB
OS: Debian GNU/Linux 7.4 (wheezy)
Tools: Optimized (version 6.0 installed)
HA: Not Enabled

The Virtual server 2 is used for the national catalogues and Ingest/Archival platforms. A single instance of a Nesstar server for each national catalogue, and single EPrints installation with 3 instances for the Ingest/Archival platforms, are installed. Here is the detailed Virtual server 2 configuration:
Configuration: 2 vCPU, 12.0 GB, 100.0 GB
OS: Debian GNU/Linux 7.4 (wheezy)
Tools: Optimized (version 6.0 installed)
HA: Not Enabled
Both Virtual server 1 and Virtual server 2 are established using the Virtual Private Server (VPS) service, provided by the University of Zagreb University Computing Centre (Srce). This service offers redundant IT infrastructure, monitoring, and backup. In addition to local (on-site) file and database backup, there will be a daily automatic off-site backup solution as well. The local servers will also be used for backup purposes.
The archive will provide metadata to the CESSDA Catalogue, which will give access to the archive's portion of the harvested/indexed metadata holdings, and to a set of tools that can help improve quality and consistency in the metadata. The CESSDA server is configured and maintained by the UKDA.

Server architecture plan for production systems
Current prototype implementation is set up using two virtual machines located at the University of Zagreb University Computing Centre. The usage of virtual machines was valuable for prototype implementation, but in the production system archives should have more granular distribution of services. Sensitivity of data in various components, require us to think about different security levels of data and preservation requirements. To achieve this goal, the future architecture will be separated on different virtual machines, based on different platform deployment stacks:
• Mailing lists, virus checker (communication);
• WordPress, user form (communication);
• Request tracker (administration, communication);
• EPrints (ingest, SIP);
• EPrints (archive, AIP);
• Nesstar (dissemination, DIP).

Figure 8. Server architecture plan for production.

Each of these components has different deployment requirements (database, web server, runtime language stack) so it makes sense to separate components on different VMs for easy maintainability (migration when changing components, deploying different components for new archives in the future, firmware upgrades).
In current state of data archive software support tools development in general, it seem that changing of components is highly probable in the future. Currently available tools all have certain advantages and disadvantages in supporting the whole process of data archiving. There is no integrated tool available, to support the whole process of data archiving, but rather there is a combination of different tools, connected together to support different stages of the data archiving process. This is one of the reasons why the easy maintainability of the system is important. Archive staff needs to be able to test other available software tools, as they will appear, preferably under Free/Libre/Open Source licences.
To address security of applications (which might come with their own set of bugs) each virtual machine is secured by itself, so, for example, security problems in web portal won’t affect archival copy of data in archive or any other component.
All virtual machines will have two copies to different physical machines on the site of the archive. Machines will be located in different buildings to ensure continuous operation in case of environmental problems in one of buildings (fire, flooding etc.).
Two distinct types of data required for keeping in the archive were identified - SIP and AIP, which require long-term preservation together with audit log. This also requires ability to check whether data is correct on media that requires checksums on level of file system (scrubbing). For this requirement, ZFS24 storage and snapshots using LVM will be implemented to provide long-term archival copy of current prototype on different locations (in faculty building) which is updated daily (from computing centre location). This enables disaster recovery in case of one location failure. It’s also possible to have multiple remote copies if needed.
Management of applications and data will be done using Ganeti25, open source cloud solution that enables high availability for virtual machines and provides data storage requirements outlines above. Hardware configuration as selected according to those requirements.
This architecture will require continuous maintenance, partly because software stacks changes, partly because new tools enable archives to offer new and better services.

Potential Impact:
1.11 Potential impact and main dissemination activities
1.11.1 The potential impact

The project has achieved a significant level of success. It has:
• raised awareness of the economic benefits to data sharing in the West Balkans;
• promoted the value and benefits of data archives as gateways to data and as facilitators of research;
• opened local discussion and debate about the collaborative activities that could be undertaken between data archives and national statistical institutes;
• engaged with local funding bodies to aid their understanding of the costs and benefits of supporting sustainable data services; and
• put in place the operational foundations for three new European data services.

Particular highlights are the methodology applied to assess the potential and readiness of each country for the establishment of an archive and the collation, by established partner organisations, of exemplar documents and procedures for reference by anyone wishing to follow in the SERSCIDA footsteps and establish new archives.
However, the greatest and most visible successes are the burgeoning Balkan archives and the awareness and support for data sharing which each has generated amongst their research and data-producing communities. Coupled with an enhanced understanding of the benefits of providing sustained funding for national data services, the project has enabled the building of the foundations for the sharing of data has cemented relationships between these new data services and CESSDA.
It is difficult to measure the impact the of the project at this point because the three new organisations will remain fragile until they have gathered the critical mass of data sets and users that is essential to justify sustained funding.

There can be no doubt, however, that their futures look promising. In setting up emergent archives and in providing for the training needed to achieve this, SERSCIDA has generated a committed and enthusiastic core of data archivists in an area of Europe where these skills were sparse. The presence of these skills, applied in a working environment will have a twofold effect on the research community: firstly it will increase the amount of data available for research use; secondly it will facilitate and support the use of high quality data and their application to novel research questions and will stimulate the development and expansion of data analytical and methodological skills amongst the research community.

Different aspects of the impact that the project has had are reflected in the short reports below:

Marija Veličković: Analyst for Social Sciences in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technical Development of Republic of Serbia:
“UESSEX presented to us organizational structure of the archive, the laws and norms that govern it, the strategy of its development, the links with other institutions such as the National Bureau of Statistics, financing and provision of budget and the importance of preservation of digitized data for both researchers and for public administration and the decision-making process. It is especially pointed out that the information and documentation used mainly by researchers and students (76%) and the remaining 24 % of data is used for the analysis carried out by the public administration, independent organizations and research centres, and the public. In the case of Serbia the digitization of data would be equally useful to researchers and to the public administration. The budget for science could be significantly saved (our budget for science is one of the lowest in the civilized world - only 0.3 % of GDP) by avoiding replicated and duplicated research. Also, the digital archive would have multiple benefits for decision makers who are engaged in the process of creation and implementation of the National Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development 2011-2015 of Republic of Serbia.”

Dalibor Pančić: “the Bosnia and Herzegovina [delegation] attended training events at UL and at the UESSEX and was 'very grateful to have been part of the training… [which] enrich[ed] my knowledge in the field of data archives. During our visits to these countries we were introduced to their way of working within data archives, managing data, cooperating with researchers and other significant stakeholders. It was significant to be able to experience the entire process from the moment the researcher contacts a data archive, to the depositing of data, or sharing with users, and everyday maintenance and management of data. The knowledge and skills I have gained in this project and during these visits ... we have created some of the most significant preconditions for the establishment of a digital data archive ...”

Saša Madacki: Director of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Sarajevo reported that the “visit to UKDA was extremely helpful giving us food for thought on how include visualized data in classroom. Visual representation of data for teaching purposes is a highly important topic since it will be a stimulus for students to approach data differently. Using this approach, teaching and learning can be more interactive more appealing to students. This can result in different approach to research data, together with final result that is important for us – depositing the data in DA’s.”

Sunčica Stefanović Šestić: Head of Statistical Department for Education, Scientific and Culture, Statistical Office of Serbia said: “I was a little sceptical about: Whether the statistician researcher (expert) the right person for this topic, should it be IT expert? After a full-day of introduction to the importance and the way how does the UKDA work, I finally have a complete picture of the need and importance of establishing institutions which would allow open access to and dissemination of primary data collected through different surveys.”

Kenan Filipović is the Legal Advisor to the Rector and a Member of Executive Board of the University of Sarajevo: “The visits I participated in (Ljubljana, Gothenburg) were very significant for me, both professionally, as certain experiences and procedures that are implemented in the institutions we visited can be applied immediately in our institution, and also personally. I was also very pleased to see that our Centre of the University of Sarajevo is taking the right way and that the establishment of the University of Sarajevo Digital Data Archives and Services will be of both an international and regional significance. This would not have been possible had it not been for the creativity of this team [and their…] professional and useful work, for which I am very grateful and I hope I have contributed at least a little bit. In the end, equally significant, is the strengthening of regional cooperation (Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia and BiH) which is one of the main contributions of this project and proof how much potential and strengths we have when we participate in joint projects.”
The impact of these statements lies in their potential to effect policy changes in the approach to data sharing in the three regional partner States and more widely across the region where further new archives might emerge. Such activity would demonstrate further impact to this project by increasing the number of datasets available to researchers and extending the skills base which is an essential pre-requisite for effective and efficient data sharing.
The project also afforded the teams from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia opportunities to share and promote their work at strategically important events such as the 2013 IASSIST conference in Cologne, the DwB (Data without Boundaries) First regional workshop in Ljubljana and at the 2013 CESSDA expert seminar.

1.11.2 The main dissemination activities and exploitation of results
The key dissemination activities in the project were:
• Project web page (D 6.1)
• Four National Round Tables (Banja Luka, Belgrade, Sarajevo and Zagreb), Nov 2012-April 2013 (within the WP3),
• International Conference in Belgrade, April 2013 (D 3.1) and
• Dissemination Meeting in Sarajevo, May 2014 (D 6.2).
Equally significant were the meetings and interviews that took place during the implementation of the WP 2. WB countries project partners met key project stakeholders in order to gain information on the potential for establishing data archives/services, through telephone and face-to-face interviews, as well as through the dissemination of the online survey among the public and private research institutions.

Project website
The website was regularly updated with all events taking place in the WPs that were implemented in this reporting period. The news in English was uploaded first, and then translations in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian followed. A new menu item with deliverables was developed where all SERSCIDA deliverables are now available. Some material items are shared with other partners (e.g. deliverable 4.2 with UESSEX website) while some are already used by CESSDA AS.
The website address was reserved for a period until end 2016. All relevant data and information from this website is already incorporated in the prototype websites of the future three data archives in WB countries.
The visits to the website were monitored only from January 2014, but even in such a short span of time they show a trend of increased interest around SERSCIDA events, such as the Dissemination Meeting held in May 2014. Following are a few graphs and tables that show the interest in the SERSCIDA website in the first half of 2014.
Figure 9. Number of sessions on the SERSCIDA website.
Figure 10. Analysis of sessions on the website. Figure 11. Analysis of new and
returning visitors to the SERSCIDA website.

Figure 12. Analysis of SERSCIDA website visitors’ language backgrounds.


International Conference
The international conference “Opening Data Services in Social Sciences” (D3.1 Conference Report) was organized in line with the work plan of the SERSCIDA project, as MS3 “Successful conference” within activity T3.2 of WP3 “Policy dialogue and conference on establishment of social science digital data archives in the region”, as specified in Annex I of the Grant Agreement. The program and objectives of the Conference mainly followed the general objectives of WP3, stated as follows:
The Conference was attended by 108 participants. The majority of participants were researchers/lecturers from Western Balkan (WB) countries, attending the Conference as spectators, but some of them took a more active role during the sessions’ discussion. Twelve representatives of the CESSDA countries participated at the Conference, the majority of them as the Conference speakers. In total, 25 representatives of data infrastructure were present at the Conference, among them 16 from WB countries, mostly representatives of statistical offices, national libraries and university computing centres (which were recognized as important stakeholders in the establishment of data archives).
During the Conference, country assessment reports resulting from previous project activities, were presented by WB SERSCIDA teams’ representatives and discussed by the Conference participants. WB SERSCIDA teams proposed, supported by the Conference Participants and based on empirical evidence from reports, the establishment of individual country data services based on a country specific organizational model rather than a regional one. In general, participants at the Conference agreed that the establishment and financing of data services in WB countries should be primarily supported by government institutions, mainly ministries in charge of science. However, there was no full agreement on how WB countries should go about motivating researchers to share their data. The most discussed topic at the Conference was data security issues, more specifically, controlled access to sensitive data, remote access and confidentiality and appropriate use of micro-data.

National Round Tables
• Round table “Archiving and Use of Research Data in Social Sciences - Scientists’ Needs, the Existing Infrastructure and Shaping of Science Policies”, Zagreb, Croatia
It took place on 14 November 2012, immediately after the initial contacts and discussions with relevant participants of the process of creation, usage and archiving of research data. This round table was announced during these initial contacts and discussions. The main intention was to summarise and encompass findings from previous activities and to get more feedback from relevant stakeholders who could or should be interested in this issue from different perspectives - data producers and users (individual researchers, institutions engaged in the research), institutions that make an integral part of a scientific infrastructure (SRCE computing centre, libraries, archives) and bodies dealing with a development and quality of science system. In addition, the intention was to achieve continuity in communication with them.
The subject of this first round table was rather broad. The intention was to deal with the most important issues that the SERSCIDA project dealt with during mapping of the existing potentials for establishing the archive of data for social sciences. Therefore, the round table was titled “Archiving and use of research data in social sciences – scientists' needs, the existing infrastructure and shaping of science policies”.
Scientists' needs were presented based on results of a survey on production, preservation and use of research data, among scientists in the field of social science, that have been described in the first part of this report. The results of this survey were supported by a personal story of an experienced researcher in the field of sociology. Services and activities of the Srce computing centre have been presented in the part dealing with the existing elements of sub-data infrastructure and have also been previously described in this report. Experiences of creating research infrastructures in the humanities have been presented too using the CLARIN project example. Bearing in mind that systematic care for the research data and encouraging scientists to archive and exchange data can improve the quality of science and higher education, it was important to hear the opinion of representatives of central bodies in charge of development and quality of science activities. The President of the National Science Council talked about shaping of science policies. Representatives of the Agency for Science and Higher Education also participated in the meeting.
50 various participants from 15 different institutions attended the meeting (including keynoters, that is, the institutions they came from). Several relevant issues have been discussed during the conversation. The participants were given a suggestion of conclusions of the round table and in this manner the final conclusions will be reached subsequently through interaction with participants who participated in the discussion. The participants agreed that this is an important subject and that it is necessary to organize in the future several more similar meetings or workshops that could, with more focus and details, deal with subjects opened in this first round table as well as other subjects that appear as relevant.


• Round tables “Establishing Data Archives/Services in Social Sciences” Banja Luka and Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Two round tables were organised in BiH, one in Mostar on 19 April and the other in Banja Luka on 30 April. The aim of the round tables was to present the idea of the establishment of a data archive/service in social sciences to a wide audience of stakeholders and to invite them to participate in the moulding process of such a data services.
The presenters reflected on the SERSCIDA project, its main objectives, activities, expected results and potential role of different stakeholders. The following topics were used for presentations and further discussion:
o the purpose and role of data archiving/services in data production, how data archives work and what their role is in the scientific community,
o the results of the Mapping study of the potentials for social science data archives/services in BiH (D 2.1)
o benefits of social science data archives for research development and funding and
o open access, both in terms of access to data, as content and open access in terms of accessible software for using such data.
The conclusions of the Round Table were to: empower the research development potential through the establishment of data archives/services; promote the need for introducing an obligation to archiving data, in order to raise the awareness on the need to share data as well as to emphasise the benefits of data sharing; support training and education on open access and open data.
There were 47 participants in Mostar and 15 in Banja Luka. The participants included the Ministry for Civil Affairs of BiH, the BiH Archive, Institute for Intellectual Property of BiH, the Federal Archive, the Republic of Srpska Ministry for Science and Technology, Agency for Civil Service of Republic of Srpska, three Cantonal Ministries for Education and Science (from Bihac, Mostar, and Tuzla), Centre for Social Work Banja Luka, Chamber of Commerce of Republic of Srpska representatives of the Universities of Mostar and Banja Luka, National and University Library of Republic of Srpska, Museum of Republic o f Srpska, National Library of the Mostar Canton, Association of CIPS Alumni, Centre for Social Research of the International Burc University from Sarajevo.

Non-project Dissemination Events
The project partners, in particular those from the three WB countries, but also from the European-CESSDA countries, were dedicated to disseminating the information about the SERSCIDA project to a very wide audience:
- scientific community (higher education and researchers),
- policy makers,
- industry,
- civil society and
- media.
SERSCIDA partners participated in 19 different dissemination events (workshops, conferences, oral presentations, articles published, scientific event, flyers, websites) directly reaching over 1,500 individuals.

List of Websites:
1.12 Address of project public website and relevant contact details


The public website address is www.serscida.eu In addition to this public website address the project has developed three future Data Archive-Service website prototypes for each of the Western Balkan Countries:
www.ba.serscida.eu
www.hr.serscida.eu
www.rs.serscida.eu

University of Sarajevo, Human Rights Centre
Zmaja od Bosne 8, 71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
sm@hrc.unsa.ba

Library of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Zagreb
I. Lučića 3, HR-10000 Zagreb
Croatia
mglavica@ffzg.hr

Ruđer Bošković’s Institute Library
Bijenićka cesta, HR-10000 Zagreb
Croatia
alen@irb.hr

Institute of Economic Sciences, office 307
Zmaj Jovina 12, 11000 Belgrade
Serbia
abmartinovic@ien.bg.ac.rs