About the project

The CESSDA SaW project aimed to strengthen and widen the already existing Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA).

CESSDA provides large scale, integrated and sustainable data services to the social sciences. It brings together social science data archives across Europe, with the aim of promoting the results of social science research and supporting national and international research and cooperation.

Barriers to membership exist in many potential member countries, however the potential value and benefits from the CESSDA membership are huge. One of the activities of the project was to map existing relevant infrastructures in potential member countries. The widened membership must form a strong and sustained network, where global best practice is built into the infrastructure of European social science and research.

The overarching purpose of the project was to initiate the transformation of the user experience of social science data in the European Research Area (ERA), resulting in a transformation of the evidence and insight available to those tackling the social and economic issues of Europe.

The key objectives of each package are:

WP2 Dissemination and Communication

An online and open access archive of collective knowledge that can be used at any time to improve skill sets within ERA archives.
The organisation of four workshops designed to address specific barriers as well as a high-visibility and impact event at the end of the project.

WP3 Strengthening and widening through planning and engagement

Deliver a state of play evaluation of social science data archives and services in the European Economic Area countries, identifying gaps and bottlenecks in existing services, and produce national development plans to close the gaps and overcome present barriers.
A common development model and tool that can be used by national actors to identify gaps between the needs for robust and trustworthy services and the actual services offered, and to provide the explanation and support needed to establish and develop the national social science data archive infrastructure.

A report benchmarking existing social science research data services across CESSDA member and non-member countries against the development model. A report discussing the state of data offered by the various national services and providing guidance and support on how to widen their data perimeter.

WP4 Strengthening and widening through knowledge exchange

Enable a knowledge exchange between current members and potential or aspiring members, following a bottom-up approach. Promote the establishment of new data archives and strengthen existing ones.
Understand how data archives contribute to valorisation of knowledge about society.

WP5 Strengthening and widening through global engagement

Benchmark CESSDA against a leading inter-institutional consortium of data archives.
Initiate a permanent forum for knowledge and information exchange.
Explore and seek support for an international curriculum for professional development of practitioners in social science data services.

UK Data Service contribution

  • Lead partner: On per task basis.
  • Funder: CESSDA ERIC
  • Dates: 1 October 2015 – 30 September 2017


  • Charles Beagrie Ltd
  • EKKE
  • TARKI Foundation
  • ICSULisboa
  • FFZG
  • IEN
  • SU SAV