Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives

Work Plan 2016

CESSDA Product and Service Catalogue phase 1

The CESSDA Product and Service Catalogue project is proposed to run in four implementation phases during the next three years. The intention is to provide a 'shop window' for the CESSDA Research Infrastructure as soon as possible, which will be added to in terms of functionality throughout the various phases. Each phase will add additional functionality, so that the utility and ease of use of the product grows with each release.



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CESSDA Technical Framework phase 2

The existing CESSDA Technical Framework provides a development environment that will speed up the process for developing service components (such as the Product and Service Catalogue) without the need for Service Providers to install, configure and maintain a suite of software development tools within their own infrastructure. Subsequent phases of the Technical Framework project will provide a deployment environment that the live service components will run in, as well as maintaining existing service components and integrating new ones.



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CESSDA Expert Seminar 2016

The CESSDA Expert Seminar 2016 (CES2016) is to be presented by the CESSDA Technical Working Group and hosted by the Czech Social Science Data Archive (CSDA) in Prague on 13 (PM) and 14 (AM) September 2016.

The focus of the seminar is on developing components for the CESSDA Research Infrastructure and is aimed at technical managers and software developers.

This is a closed event for European Data Archives that are CESSDA members, observers and aspiring members (cf. National Data Services). Members of EU Horizon 2020 projects that CESSDA is participating in and aim to deliver components into the CESSDA Research Infrastructure as part of the project may apply and can attend if space permits (cf. CESSDA’s projects). For more on this event please visit the event page.


Hosted by CSDA.

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Training modules for "Data Discovery"

Within CESSDA Training, the following tasks will be undertaken: finalising the infrastructure, continuing public relations work around the service, CESSDA Census, cooperation within and beyond CESSDA, internal and external training as well as developing new training modules.

The training work plan was delivered by the CESSDA Training Working Group and proposes the development of a new area of expertise: Data Discovery. Based on UKDS expertise, this will allow CESSDA users to locate data collections from the various service providers based on themes.

The training in relation to Data Discovery will consist in preparing users to use the service. Each Service Provider (SP) has both differing training needs and existing training capacity. Therefore, a first and vital step is to undertake an assessment of end user training needs across the CESSDA Service Providers. In order to ensure that training services are not delayed, this assessment will be limited to a consultation with the SPs, drawing on existing knowledge and existing assessments of national needs where these exist.

Since training will be based on a clear understanding of the data landscape as experienced by researchers, a landscape mapping exercise constitues the second task. UKDS will document access procedures for two pilot topics from the SPs: ageing and political behaviour .

Two types of training content will be designed and delivered: webinars and a video.

Three webinars will be held covering the following topics: how to find data in Europe, and how to find data for each of the two pilot topics. The webinars will be recorded and made available on the CESSDA website. Additionally each webinar will be accompanied by information about the characteristics and access methods for the collections mentioned in the webinar. A short 5-minute video tutorial will be produced to cover the key points on how to access data in Europe. All of this work will be undertaken in collaboration by GESIS, the members of the CESSDA Tranining Group and the CESSDA Main Office.


GESIS and UKDS (lead), all Service Providers.

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Euro Question Bank phase 2

The aim of this task is to develop and implement the Euro Question Bank, a central search facility across all CESSDA’s survey holdings, which covers as many questions used in surveys as possible.

The Euro Question Bank will be based on the DDI-Lifecycle metadata standard, with the additional provision of a conversion tool from DDI codebook-based metadata. It will thus be easy for CESSDA Service Providers to contribute documentation from their own holdings to the cross-national question bank by using DDI standardised metadata.

GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, the German Service Provider for CESSDA, will take the main project management and software development responsibilities and other specific tasks will be assigned to CESSDA partners.

External partners are also needed for the period 2016-2017. Their main role will be additional software development, especially for the automatic connection between the Euro Question Bank and other CESSDA tools. Partners will also test the software, and provide content.

The project started already in July 2015 via work on a basic infrastructure plan and preliminary implementation. In 2016 the testing with content and revised implementation will take place, while in 2017 broad application of the concept is planned together with enhanced functionality across CESSDA service providers. An additional phase in 2018 may be needed for further adaptation and improvements.



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Develop and establish the CESSDA PID Policy for the data registration and service/persistent identifiers within CESSDA

The aim of this particular task is to develop and implement the CESSDA PID Policy. This model will support CESSDA SP in implementing a local registration process as well as centralised facilities to give access to international PID systems and resolution services. Although the Policy will reflect a long-term perspective, it will also consider whether the choice of a specific PID service is coherent for all CESSDA SP at a given time.

The task will not only focus on the complexity of the entire spectrum of responsibilities and requirements but also elaborate the technical aspects of assigning PID to digital resources.

A PID Taskforce will be setup consisting of CESSDA SPs including GESIS that provide stable PID services to various communities (GESIS, DANS and SND). The PID Taskforce will develop the CESSDA PID Policy, review its technical PID services, and assess the potential for collaboration of PID service providers (read more here).

In order to involve all CESSDA SP in the discussion processes, two workshops are planned:

  1. Developing collaborative technical solutions for the data registration service/PID in CESSDA, and
  2. The CESSDA PID Policy - Administrative and technical solutions for the data registration service/PID.

The final version of the CESSDA PID Policy will be delivered to the CESSDA Board for approval and distribution and then made public via the CESSDA website.


GESIS (lead), DANS, SND.

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