Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives



Tour of CESSDA - PROGEDO Research Infrastructure

This series of articles highlight each of CESSDA's national service providers one at a time. Our next destination is France.

  • Who are you and what role do you play in CESSDA?

PROGEDO is a large research infrastructure (TGIR - Très Grande Infrastructure de Recherche) in social sciences. We are therefore France's service provider in CESSDA. We inform CESSDA about French activities and advertise CESSDA's services in France.

We organise the policy of quantitative data in the humanities and social sciences in France and work to coordinate the various actors within this sector. We represent France in three ERICs, all of which participate in the SSHOC project: CESSDA, ESS, SHARE.

  • When did your country become a member?

France was one of the founding members of CESSDA AS in 2013, and has been involved since the very beginning in 1976, when CESSDA was just an informal cooperation (see History). PROGEDO became the official national service provider for France at the launch of CESSDA ERIC in 2017.

  • What does your organisation bring to CESSDA?

The French organisation is original in its set-up for a number of reasons. We have a small team that documents the data. We are totally independent from the producers of official data (national statistics institute, national archives, ministries) and were are part of the Ministry of Research and Higher Education. We work with three other data disseminators: the INED (Institut National d'Études Démographiques), the Sciences Po Centre for Socio-political Data and the Centre d'Accès Sécurisé aux Données (Secure Data Access Centre).

We have also developed fifteen university data platforms throughout France, working directly with researchers within the universities.

This distributed mode of operation allows us to be as close as possible to our users, and to involve them directly in CESSDA when projects take on European dimensions (such as the EurHisFirm project at the Paris School of Economics, for example, or Sciences Po's EthMigSurvey project).

  • What tangible benefits does your organisation get out of being a CESSDA member?

Being a member of CESSDA enables the sharing of good practices between service providers, with a focus on FAIR Data, and means that we are part of a network which allows us to learn about other countries' data services.

  • Which CESSDA tools and/or services are of interest to your organisation? (see list online)

We will integrate most of the CESSDA services in the next version of our data dissemination portal, that is to say the CESSDA Controlled Vocabulary Service, ELSST, and the CESSDA Data Catalogue. We want to offer a service that can eventually be more visible, with harmonised and translatable metadata

Our aim is that all the documentation that we produce will feed into the CESSDA Data Catalogue and the upcoming CESSDA European Question Bank.

  • How is CESSDA helping you to make your data compliant with the FAIR Data principles?

We are already looking at FAIR Data at PROGEDO, but by being a part of CESSDA, we can think further and integrate the practices of other member countries. We can also share more widely information about our own resources.

  • How does the CESSDA Data Management Expert Guide help researchers to make their research data FAIR?

The CESSDA Data Management Expert Guide is a very useful resource for universities, as it supports the training of students and researchers. It is used by university research assistants and other training staff working with researchers and students using our data platforms. These experts provide support when it comes to setting up a research project, finding the right data, using that data correctly, setting up surveys and data storage. They also organise local training events.

  • Which CESSDA training do staff in your organisation recommend and why?

The CoreTrustSeal certification training workshop organised by the CESSDA Trust Group and held in Paris in June 2019 was very useful. It helped us gain a better understanding of the issues and expectations of this certification. Our initial attempt in 2018 was unsuccessful as we were not properly prepared. We are currently preparing to submit a new application for the CoreTrustSeal.

  • How do you see CESSDA supporting you in 2020?

The CoreTrustSeal certification is a crucial goal for us in 2020 where we welcome the support of CESSDA via its Trust Working Group. We are currently developing a DataVerse repository for managing our data and making it available. This is a mid- to long-term project, where feedback from the CESSDA community will be invaluable.

Read the last article in this series about the Danish Data Archive.