Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives

14

Dec
2021

Highlights from the CESSDA Roadshow - Climate Change

The CESSDA® Roadshow on Climate Change gives a deep dive on research in the social sciences, highlighting the importance of impartial, reliable and trusted datasets that contribute to tackling this global challenge.

Bringing together CESSDA® experts and users, the Roadshow zoomed in on datasets available in the Finnish Social Science Data Archive as just one example of the wealth of resources available to researchers in the CESSDA® Data Catalogue. Experts also gave practical guides on the CESSDA® Data Management Expert Guide.

Researchers then shared their first-hand experiences in using the CESSDA® Data Catalogue and re-using data from related studies, highlighting benefits also for cross-disciplinary research.

Flash talks served as a springboard for the interactive discussions with invited panelists and participants, sharing diverse viewpoints from service providers and members of the social sciences community in the context of CESSDA.

Highlights on CESSDA DC® and DMEG®

Tuomas J. Alaterä, Information Network Specialist at the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) walked participants through the data related to climate change in the CESSDA Data Catalogue: CESSDA DC® for Climate Change: An overview of Datasets in Finnish and English Datasets for Discovery.

Patrícia Miranda, Data Manager at APIS, the Portuguese Archive of Social Information based at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, delved into the value of the CESSDA Data Management Expert Guide when it comes to archiving and publishing research data: CESSDA DMEG® on Archive & Publish.

User Stories

The three user stories featured in the Roadshow were directly inspired by the support of service providers in Finland and Portugal, giving examples of how researchers have also built on each other’s work and data re-use. First off was Luís Junqueira, junior researcher at the Methodology Innovation Lab, CIES-IUL and an associated researcher at the Shift Research Group with his experiences on publishing data and the all-important metadata: CESSDA User story on the importance of publishing data and organizing (meta)data.

Next up was Vasco Ramos, Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lisbon. His story focused on re-using data for cross-disciplinary research on climate change: CESSDA User Story on the importance and the benefits of reuse of data in cross-disciplinary research.

Last but not least was Harri Melin, Professor of Sociology at Tampere University, highlighting the value of CESSDA in supporting research through the wealth of data available at the national level: A CESSDA DC® User story, insights from Finland.

Takeaways

It is essential that research on climate change reaches a wider audience, such as decision makers and the private sector, including small companies that can benefit from the data available. CESSDA members can bring value by making these connections.

Having more data and more reliable data on climate change is critical for enabling new research and distributing it across all relevant stakeholders, where CESSDA has the opportunity to engage with a much wider audience.

Some of the questions on climate change have been asked for a long time but with different terminology as this is an evolving landscape. The theoretical viewpoint may also be different but these are all valuable sources of information for other researchers. Having a good grasp of the data is important with service provider support pointing to relevant metadata so researchers find the chunks of data that haven’t been used.

Data quality is key for both cross-disciplinary and comparative cross-national research because we need data based on worldwide knowledge for research on this global challenge. In this respect, comparative studies are fundamentally important.

Metadata deposits are much easier to re-use as it sets researchers on the right track, leveraging the solid support of the national service providers. Researchers can make valuable comparisons of the analyses already done and avoid duplicating data collections. Using insights from others also saves time.

Service provider support is an essential part of the research workflow. For example, APIS has enabled researchers to find relevant data and metadata for their studies, but beyond this, they help prepare them for the road ahead, highlighting the importance of open data, how the various procedures work, ensuring they have controlled vocabularies at hand so the research can be conducted in a very detailed manner. This is a circular process from start to finish, ensuring data is findable and accessible to others so they can benefit from it.

The user story from Luis Junqueira is an excellent example of building on top of research done by others, knowing not only what data is available but also how to use the resources to best effect. CESSDA has come up trumps with the DMEG as it really supports the research workflow from discovery to publication. Hence, this is all part of the CESSDA DMEG® journey, starting with discovery, and of the end-to-end researcher experience through the entire data lifecycle in well-organised chapters with questions to check understanding around data management plans. APIS has also translated DMEG into Portuguese the data to help national researchers organise the data they want to use and make it findable and accessible to others.

To re-use data, it needs to be published. Researchers can easily tap into the DMEG questions on publishing and archiving through trusted repositories like CESSDA. Researchers must properly cite data, to sources and original authors to maximise the impacts of data dissemination through the correct attributions.

On-demand Resources

Download the overview, slide deck and full recording on ZENODO.

The CESSDA community and newcomers can re-use all the recorded resources on the Training via the YouTube Playlist for the Roadshow on Climate Change.

A news item by Trust-IT