Support for Establishment of National/Regional
Social Sciences Data Archives

Support for Establishment of National/Regional Social Sciences Data Archives

SERSCIDA is designed as a strategic project for 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 Countries (WBC) in the field of social science data archiving. The project addresses the issues of potentials of usage of information-communication technologies for the benefits of scientific research and exchange of knowledge as laid down in the call for proposals topic. The project aims 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 WBC involved.




Steering Board Meeting and discussion on WP4

The SERSCIDA Steering Board members met to discuss the project implementation and future plans in Zagreb on 17 September, 2013. The usual agenda items included issues concerning finances, communication and reporting. The project partners from Western Balkan countries provided an update of the developments that are leading towards the establishment of data services in each of their countries.

It was concluded that the Western Balkan partner countries now have a sound knowledge of the required structural, legal and policy changes that need to take place in order for the establishment of data archives. It is clear what the tasks are and which institutions will need to be involved in the establishment process.

Infrastructures and institutions that will host the data archives are identified and these are the SERSCIDA partners that will be working in collaboration with their host Universities or other partners. The countries also have an idea of what is the scope of their future data archives when it comes to services they will provide and kinds of data sets they will archive, as well as required resources for this (staff, equipment).

The SERSCIDA project has been met with much appreciation and interest both by policy makers (government institutions) as well as future data users (universities and researchers) which was expressed in high participation at the SERSCIDA International Conference and 4 National Round Tables.

Government institutions recognise the potential for using research funds more efficiently, as data produced will be available for other researchers and policy makers. Government institutions also see a benefit of the establishment of data archives in getting better quality information about researchers involved in social science research. Researchers themselves are keen to share their data and to use secondary data for research and university teaching.

The meeting took place in the beautiful settings of the Council Room of the Dean's Office of the University of Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. It was preceded by the meeting of the Work Package 4 - Building capacities for establishment of social science digital data archives.

Open Access

'Open Access' refers to the practice of granting free Internet access to research publications and data. As all research and innovation builds on earlier achievements, an efficient system for broad dissemination of and access to research publications and raw data can accelerate scientific progress. The OECD Declaration of 2008 states "that open access to, and unrestricted use of data promotes scientific progress and facilitates the training of researchers," as well as maximizing "the value derived from public investments in data collection efforts." SERSCIDA will address the need for improved and open access to and dissemination of primary data collected through research in social sciences while at the same time trying to support reinforcement of the existing national strategies and structures, and to contribute to development of new ones.