Image: Fabien Barral via Unsplash
Mon 13 Dec 2021

The CESSDA Roadshow on Migration was a deep dive into the research in the social sciences enabled by the Data Catalogue® through its treasure trove of datasets and its Data Management Expert Guide® bringing expertise on managing the full research cycle from discovery to archiving and publishing so the data can be properly preserved and made available for reuse under the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

The Roadshow talked participants through the wonderful world of data on migration, giving practical tips and sharing first-hand experiences through researcher and service provider viewpoints, showing how the society we live in can become more inclusive so they can thrive on diversity.

Interactive discussions underscored the importance of data quality and transparency and cross-border research in delivering tangible societal impacts on migration and mobility, which can also inform civil society and policymakers through evidence-based research.

Highlights on CESSDA DC® and DMEG®

The CESSDA DC® has over 3000 datasets on migration and minorities, searchable and documented in 14 European languages with rich metadata that facilitates cross-disciplinary research all from a single access point. The tutorial on the CESSDA Data Catalogue® for Migration and Discovery came from Dimitra Kondyli, Research Director at the National Centre for Social Sciences (EKKE) in Greece.

Peter Čerče, Head of the Centre for IT and Infrastructural Support to Research at the Science and Research Centre Koper as well as its Research Library, explained how he used the CESSDA DMEG® to produce his own data management plan in his role of Data Officer in the EU-funded project on Migrant Children and Communities in a Transforming Europe (MiCreate), also with a view of protecting the highly sensitive data emerging from research: CESSDA Data Management Expert Guide® & Data Catalogue® for Users.

User Stories

Ami Saji, SciencesPo and researcher for the SSHOC (Social Sciences & Humanities Open Cloud) Project, coordinating the development of the Ethnic and Migrant Monitory (EMM) survey registry. She highlighted the key role of service providers in relation to this work and the DC®: Ethnic and Migrant Minority Survey Registry & CESSDA Data Catalogue® for Discovery.

Dimitri Prandner from the Empirical Social Research Unit at the Johannes Kepler University, shared his personal experiences on the challenges revolving around ethnic and migrant minorities at both national and European level: Migrant Minorities and Survey Research. Reusing the EMM Survey Registry.

Ahmed Wali, a PhD researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, brought perspectives from the European HumMingBird project under Horizon 2020, which focuses on improving the mapping and understanding of changing migration flows: Challenges in international migration statistics.

Meredith Winn, a postdoctoral researcher at Sciences Po working on the ANR-funded FAIRETHMIGQUANT Project, a research network aiming to improve access, usability, and dissemination of quantitative survey data on the economic, social, and political integration of ethnic and migrant minorities: Ethnic & Migrant Minority Question Databank. Reusing the EMM Survey Registry.


CESSDA enables researchers to find trusted data sources as a first step in defining a project or research roadmap. The European Language Thesaurus is another important tool for using and reusing the datasets, helping researchers navigate diverse terms and concepts related to the datasets.

Data quality and transparency are thus core values the social sciences bring to the public debate on migration. Migration is an excellent example of a global challenge where research findings, such as comparisons between policy and scientific data, can be used to inform policymakers and civil society activists outside the core CESSDA community.

The network of CESSDA service providers is instrumental in connecting researchers carrying out research at both national and cross-national levels, helping them also deal with sensitive data through the good practices in the DMEG. For example, several service providers, such as GESIS and AUSSDA, have been involved in the entire workflow for the process of the EMM Survey Repository, helping to add value to it. These and other service providers have also played a key role in structuring the metadata, ensuring it is interoperable, based on recommended standards for the social sciences and in knowing which licences to apply for both the tool and the metadata to maximise their usability.

Being able to contact service providers for support is a key value proposition, guiding researchers on their journey, whether they want to build on existing research questions or bring in new ones. This helps save time and build economies of scale.

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 CESSDA Roadshow on Migration.

A news item by Trust-IT