Data experts gather at UK Data Archive

Article dated: 3 October 2019

The UK Data Archive has hosted a gathering of some of the leading experts in data preservation and access in Europe.

The CESSDA Expert Seminar 2019 was a two-day event looking at the tools and services which data archives provide to help researchers use data.

30 delegates came from universities and archives all over the continent to share knowledge and learn about issues such as:

  • the conditions under which researchers access data
  • the tools service providers use when curating data
  • metadata – the information provided on what’s contained in datasets

CESSDA is the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives, which brings together social science data archives across Europe to promote the results of social science research and support national and international research and cooperation. The UK Data Archive was a founding member of the original CESSDA in 1976, and was an active collaborator in the formation of the new CESSDA ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium). Being a member brings us a range of benefits as the different members work together on projects. In particular, the Archive is currently involved in the social science and humanities part of the European Open Science Cloud, which promotes open access to the data from publicly funded research.

Matthew Woollard, Director of the UK Data Archive and UK Data Service, said, “The UK Data Service is one of CESSDA's 15 national service providers, and by collaborating with them we can stay at the forefront of knowledge and practice in working with data.

“For example, we’re currently working on the Euro Question Bank which will allow researchers to search for the information they need in any CESSDA member’s survey holdings. We’re also involved in the CESSDA Metadata Office, which works to help data archives across Europe to describe their holdings and make them searchable.”

The meeting was organised by the CESSDA Tools and Services group, which helps to develop the organisation’s centralised technical framework of tools and services.

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