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Strengthening and widening the European infrastructure for social science data archives.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CESSDA-SaW (Strengthening and widening the European infrastructure for social science data archives.)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-10-31

CESSDA's successful launch we had to achieve full European coverage, and strength and sustainability for the widened network.
European coverage:
In each country the barriers to, and the potential value and benefits from, membership were examined, and existing relevant infrastructure mapped. Coordination, networking activities, and stakeholder forums designed to address the specific barriers, were delivered. In particular, relationships between national ministries, Research Councils, and the social science research community was built. This ensured the national and European economic and social benefits and the positive returns on investment that are achieved through membership of CESSDA ,were made apparent to the relevant national decision-makers.
Strength and sustainability:
The widened membership formed a strong and sustained network, where global best practice is built in to the infrastructure of European social science and research. Membership of CESSDA should mean membership of a world class support infrastructure. The visibility of this research infrastructure and its importance to excellent evidence in policy making is enhanced. Existing national infrastructures will be supported in their transition into a holistic service, capable of access services for all.
The principal objective of the project was to develop the maturity of every national data archive service in Europe in a coherent and deliberate way towards the vision of a comprehensive, distributed and integrated social science data research infrastructure, facilitating access to social science data resources for researchers regardless of the location of either researcher or data. The state of play in each of the non-Member countries was explored. In order to be effective in supporting countries with immature and fragile national infrastructures, the CESSDA members themselves strengthen through this project, and developed to an expert practitioner level. The data sciences are undergoing rapid change, due to new data sources, new technologies, new standards, and changes in user expectations. Solutions to the challenges arising from change were proposed, ad compared with practices in equivalent infrastructures in other parts of the world (ICPSR).
A developmental model to use as a heuristic device to better understand the current state of play in national social science data archive services was prepared; packages of development support (including cost/benefit analysis, methodological knowledge, knowledge transfer on technical issues, and practitioner training), were developed and optimised to further the development of national infrastructures; further strengthening of the CESSDA membership was done to ensure it is capable of providing support to others.
CESSDA SaW project had in total 32 deliverables. Two amendments to the GA were submitted in P2: The decision to add additional partners to the SaW consortium. That decision was followed up by the amendment request (AMD-6749939-10-2). The 2nd amendment request came into force on 13 January 2017. The 3rd amendment (AMD-674939-15) had the purpose of extending the project duration for 3 months or until 31 October 2017. The amendment was approved by EC and it came into force on 27 March 2017.
The main results in P2 were achievement of MS3:Launch of the Knowledge Sharing Platform (officially launched on 20 October 2017 during the Final SaW event in Dublin), and the following deliverables: Deliverable 2.2 Knowledge-Sharing Platform Content and Management Policy; Deliverable 2.4 Stakeholder workshop Report 2; Deliverable 2.5 Stakeholder workshop Report 3; Deliverable 2.6 Final Dissemination Event Report; Deliverable 2.7 Launched Platform.
The main results of WP3 outputs are: Heuristic maturity development model (CDM), A comprehensive country report on describing the state of play of data national social science data services in Europe, A Guide for national planning for setting up new or upgrading existing data services, National development plans for 9 data services in non-CESSDA member countries, A report on the state-of-the-art, obstacles, models and roadmaps for widening the data perimeter, and A final integrated audit report on the existence of trustworthy and robust social science data services in Europe.
Work Package 4 was a collection of various tasks which all have the aim to strengthen the current and aspiring members of CESSDA, and hereby CESSDA itself, through knowledge exchange. The overall organisation of this Second Training Workshop on Trust and Technical Aspects within the CESSDA was done by DANS in close cooperation with Work Package 2, CESSDA Main Office and University of Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The workshop took place in March 1-2, in Zagreb, Croatia. A number of deliverables and milestones were all achieved and delivered in P2, and are described in Technical Report.
Based on assessment questionnaire developed and reported in D3.1 Maturity Model, and on country reports reported in D3.2 T5.1 benchmarked CESSDA and ICPSR, and produced a gap analysis reported in D5.1. Work done in T5.2 is the result of desk research and T2.1 that created a virtual knowledge-sharing platform (KSP) as a central point of access for the body of knowledge created by CESSDA partners. Task 5.2 extended the content of the KSP with resources created by other relevant non-CESSDA institutions. Finally, work done in T5.3 and reported in D5.3 identified skills and competencies required from staff in data curation. It gave recommendations for CESSDA on how to strengthen its member organisations by training their staff for current and future challenges of data curation.
The overarching expected impact of the project was to establish a seamless data archive service for the whole ERA, where all relevant data are available to all researchers. The SaW project is thought to succeed to unlock the capability of the current CESSDA membership to transfer knowledge to the widened CESSDA network including potential member countries and service providers, and to support the development of the pan-European products and services that will ultimately lead to delivery of overall CESSDA Vision. Activities engaging ministries and national funding agencies that have not yet committed support for a national data service were finalised in the second period of the project as part of WP2, WP3 and WP4, tasks aiming at high level representatives of EC and non-member countries’ (Member States and Associated Countries) aiming at CESSDA membership. Activities aiming at planned impact towards the widened CESSDA network, continued in P2 through organisation and conduct of 3 events (2 workshops and 1 final conference). A significant progress was noted with the trusted repositories’ certification DSA/WDS (now CoreTrustSeal) within WP4. Efforts in WP2 and WP4 offering virtual training courses and related activities aiming at transferring knowledge and skills, have gotten a kick-off with the establishment of the knowledge sharing platform (KSP). CESSDA has also developed two innovative and strategically important tools in order to maintain its international profile as a leader in data service development: the capability development model and the cost/benefit advocacy programme, both means to support the strengthening of existing data services and development of new data services.
Final CESSDA SaW consortium meeting, Dublin 20 October 2017
Final CESSDA SaW consortium meeting, Dublin 20 October 2017
Final CESSDA SaW consortium meeting, Dublin 20 October 2017