HOW WE CURATE DATA
ARCHIVE TRAINING MANUAL
ACCESS / OVERVIEW
Access services deal with provision and dissemination of data packages to users, including dealing with authentication and authorisation.
Access is one of the functional areas of the OAIS model, and is defined in the Reference Model documentation as:
"The OAIS functional entity that contains the services and functions which make the archival information holdings and related services visible to Consumers."
Access activities involve the serving of data packages to users and the handling of any restrictions on this dissemination. This section covers some user support activities concerning access..
At the UK Data Archive, data access typically begins within the Discover interface, a search and browse tool that allows users to locate data collections and view the rich metadata record and documentation files associated with them. Users can download materials following basic user registration or agreeing to any specific further conditions. In some cases, access to some data may require additional processes, such as specialist training and individual researcher approval.
'How to set up and run a data service' workshop presentation
Skills for access staff
When recruiting access support staff, the following may be considered important skills:
- knowledge of survey methods / research techniques and understanding of the structure and analysis of social science research data
- experience with statistical software packages, such as SPSS
- interviewing techniques and usability methods
- customer service skills
- good written and oral communication skills
- ability to communicate with audiences of differing abilities
- familiarity with statistical disclosure control issues and techniques (for secure access)
- the ability to examine dataset documentation and data files in order to investigate queries about dataset suitability and dataset content
When recruiting resource discovery staff, the following may be viewed as important skills:
- a degree or higher degree which includes one or more of the following: social science; languages; computational linguistics; information management, or equivalent experience
- sound understanding of thesaurus structure, terminology, maintenance and use
- a background (or suitable experience) in social science
- a good understanding of SKOS and RDF
- experience of providing training or of teaching
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