A new project involving 47 organisations aims to create cloud-based infrastructure to make data, tools and training available for researchers across Europe.
The Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud project (SSHOC) has been set up with €14.5 million of funding as part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It aims to bring together existing and new infrastructures from social science and humanities ERICs (European Research Infrastructure Consortiums) and foster interdisciplinary research and collaboration.
The UK Data Service is one of the 47 organisations involved in the project, which is coordinated by the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). It began in January 2019, and will run until April 2022 with the aim of moving from disciplinary silos and separated e-infrastructure facilities to fully cloud-based infrastructure where data are FAIR, and tools and training readily accessible.
As well as CESSDA, the project involves the European Social Survey (ESS), Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH), Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure (CLARIN), and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), other social science and humanities data infrastructures, and the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER).
The consortium has the expertise to cover the whole data cycle: from data creation and curation to optimal re-use of data, as well as training and advocacy to increase actual re-use of data. The consortium is also well placed to address specific challenges with social science and humanities data, such as the distributed character of its infrastructures, multilinguality, the complexity of some of the data, and secured access to sensitive data.
The project will pool, harmonise and make easily usable tools and services to allow researchers to process, enrich, analyse and compare collections of social science and humanities data from individual repositories and institutions in Europe. The project will build a common social science and humanities cloud, maximise reuse through Open Science and FAIR principles, bring together new and existing infrastructures and set up a system of governance.