Image: Fabien Barral via Unsplash
Wed 29 Jun 2022

On 22 June 2022, the CESSDA General Assembly approved a new version of the CESSDA Data Access Policy.

The CESSDA Data Access Policy has been developed to provide a set of principles for CESSDA Service Providers (SPs) covering common standards for data access.

The previous version was published in 2016. Since then, there have been new developments for data access in the social science community. These need to be reflected in the Data Access Policy.

They include:

  • the FAIR Data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable)1
  • the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)2
  • the EU’s Open Science Policy3, and
  • CESSDA’s own developments, such as the CESSDA PID Policy4.

Carsten Thiel, Chief Technical Officer, said: “CESSDA has always been following the ideals of what we now refer to with the “FAIR” acronym. In contrast to 2016, when the first version was written, today we have a common language to express these concepts. Our Data Access Policy now reflects this.”

What’s more, new SPs have joined CESSDA in the last six years. The policy therefore needs to be updated to ensure it is relevant across a range of different SP organisations.

The main changes are as follows:

  • A simplified and clarified language
  • Eight instead of fourteen principles (to avoid repetition and concentrate on common areas of collaboration)
  • Flexibility in licensing to allow for national circumstances
  • New developments that directly affect or inform requirements for data access
  • Inclusion of SP requirements from the CESSDA PID Policy
  • Updated implementation notes.

Sharon Bolton, CESSDA Metadata Office project and UK Data Service, said: “The data landscape has undergone many changes since 2016 and the updated Data Access Policy reflects the evolving situation. It encompasses new elements, standards and legislation, and offers clear guidance to CESSDA’s diverse and expanding membership.”





4 The PID Policy was renewed for another three years.

More information