CESSDA collaboration

Article dated: 28 September 2009

During mid-August, the UKDA hosted a collaboration meeting for the EU-funded CESSDA Preparatory Phase Project. Team leaders from our sister archives in Norway (NSD), Germany (GESIS), Finland (FSD), France (CNRS-RQ), the Netherlands (DANS) and Romania (RODA) joined with staff from the UK Data Archive to assess progress to date and remaining work. CESSDA image

The main goal of the meeting was to ensure that teams working on the different work packages were fully aware of cross-cutting conclusions and recommendations made by the different teams. The central theme for the meeting was metadata and the future importance and application of Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) 3 within CESSDA. Almost every work package will be making at least one recommendation relating to metadata and CESSDA’s plans to move from DDI 2 to DDI 3. These recommendations will be considered by the metadata team and incorporated into the group’s report. This will, in turn, have an impact on the plans for technical development of the CESSDA portal.

In addition to metadata, detailed discussions took place about a system for single sign on for European researchers. NSD and the UK Data Archive are currently collaborating on the building of a prototype system which will permit immediate access for users registered in their home federation, to resources held at the partner archive. This process could be further facilitated by use of a common licence for data use. A draft common licence has been prepared and is currently under review by a team working in the respective archives of the UK, France, Norway, Greece and the Netherlands.

Two teams have undertaken reviews of future standards and training needs and lively discussion of these followed their presentations. Recommendations for future training activities included extensions to the existing CESSDA expert seminars, staff exchanges and a Virtual Centre of Competence to support all CESSDA users – including data producers, archive staff and researchers.

At a dinner in Colchester, old friends met with new when the team was joined by Ken and Pam Miller who both worked on the project prior to their recent retirements.