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CESSDA Resource Directory - an information tool for data archive professionals
Wed 19 Apr 2023

Have you ever felt lost in the world of data archives and repositories? Maybe you want to apply for the Core Trust Seal certification but have no idea what it takes. Or you are looking for inspiration on how to improve your services or start a new service. You might also just want to update your policies and are looking for examples from sister institutions.

There's a tool that can aid you in situations like this and more!

The CESSDA Resource Directory (RD) is a structured and documented collection of information on available documents, tools, and support services for data archive professionals.

Unlike search engines, the RD provides relevant and reliable resources that are directly related to social science research data archiving. Based on the expertise of CESSDA data archives, the RD offers specific resources designated for data archives and staff.

Gathering over 600 high quality resources

The RD primarily collects resources from past and current CESSDA projects and activities, as well as from CESSDA member and partner Service Providers (SPs), and beyond. Only high-quality, reliable, and up-to-date resources with developed content in English are included. The resources are accessible via DOIs or web links, as no resource is physically attached to the RD.

While the focus of the collection is on data archiving in social sciences, the RD is also open to adapting and extending its scope to cover new areas and interdisciplinary research. As of the end of 2022, the RD had included over 600 resources.

The RD is publicly accessible via Zotero. To find a resource within a certain field or topic, you can select a specific category or subcategory or use the tag feature. You can also use the search function, but note that Zotero will only search within the Title, Creator (i.e., author), or Date fields, and not other metadata.

Four main categories

To facilitate the discovery of resources, they are organized into four main categories based on the CoreTrustSeal requirements and the Open Archival Information System model: 1) Organization, 2) Digital object management, 3) Communication and support, and 4) Technical infrastructure. Each main category is further divided into subcategories.

All resources are assigned at least one tag. These tags are keywords that describe the content of a resource and offer an additional way to find relevant resources. Tags can also be used to easily locate resources from a specific Service Provider (SP), even if they change their name. All resources are tagged with the current name of the organization, so using the tag "Sikt," for example, will also retrieve resources produced by NSD.

Developed through collaboration

The CESSDA Resource Directory was developed through collaboration between several CESSDA Service Providers (SPs): FORS, SND, CSDA, CROSSDA, MK DASS as major contributors, but also ADP, DANS, TARKI, DCS, and GESIS. All SPs contributed to updating and upgrading the resources.

The CESSDA Resource Directory was created as part of the CESSDA Work Plan 2018, in a project called Widening Activities 2018 and although the RD was not included in the CESSDA Work Plan task for 2019, efforts to publish it continued. Following an investigation of various options, it was decided to make the RD available as a group library on Zotero. The migration process began in the fall of 2019 and was completed shortly before the start of the new task as part of Widening & Outreach activities 2020. 

In 2020, the RD was migrated to the Zotero platform, and a comprehensive update and upgrade were conducted. The work on the RD continued as a cross-pillar task within CESSDA funding programme Agenda 21-22, as a collaboration of three CESSDA pillars: Widening & Outreach, Training, and Tools.

The main activities focused on developing a policy and strategy for the RD, ongoing maintenance, and the addition of new resources. Special emphasis was placed on including technical resources such as tools and services used and/or developed by SPs for data archiving activities.The plan for 2023 is to move the RD from Zotero to the CESSDA website.

Further information about the RD is available on CESSDA Website (See link below).


Text by: The RD team 2021-2022

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