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Wednesday 15th July, 09:00 - 10:30 Room: O-106

The New Data Sharing Environment: Increasing Options, Increasing Access 2?

Convenor Dr Peter Granda (University of Michigan )

Session Details

The New Data Sharing Environment: Increasing Options, Increasing Access?

Peter Granda
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
University of Michigan

As social science funding agencies throughout the world place increasing emphasis on data sharing, both data producers and data repositories face new challenges. Data producers must fulfill public-access requirements when receiving funding awards. After their data are collected, they may be tempted to share the data themselves, but they often do not want the maintenance responsibility for the long term. Data repositories can offer the infrastructure and staff expertise to assist producers in meeting their responsibilities as good data stewards but must decide how much effort to expend to archive, curate, and preserve the increasing amounts of data being generated.

New options have appeared on the scene including data sharing sites like Dropbox and Figshare and “self-deposit” services hosted by social science data archives. These options offer a variety of mechanisms to deposit and publish data resources, different pricing models, and storage models that range from keeping the original bitstream for a definite period to a full preservation commitment including curation and migration of these files indefinitely.

This session brings data producers and data repositories together to present their views of the current and future data sharing environments. Key questions at this session:

• How do producers want to make to make their data available for secondary use?
• Should the output of data from all funding sources be preserved?
• Who decides which data files should be stored for the short term and which should receive permanent curation and preservation?
• Who should pay for the costs of data sharing? The funder, the person awarded the grant, national governments through their support of national archives, another entity?
• What types of repository structures best promote data access?

Paper Details

1. European data access: issues and challenges
Dr Reza Afkhami (UK Data Archive, University of Essex)

Striking a balance between data confidentiality and easily available data is a challenge that has preoccupied NSIs and data service providers for some time. This challenge could be exponentially complicated where the access is demanded in a cross cultural/legal environment as diverse as Europe. There are specific issues for different access modalities relating to restricted confidential microdata; in contrast, open data or public use files face fewer access challenges. The most appealing option; remote access to confidential data faces significant legal, technical and organisational issues which must be tackled before any European remote data access network can be established.

2. Ways and means to make data accessible – data collection and data sharing practices of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights
Dr David Reichel (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights)

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has carried out survey research to address a number of fundamental rights issues, including the EU-wide survey on violence against women and the EU MIDIS survey on ethnic minority and immigrant groups. Alongside freely accessible reports, FRA offers access to its survey data via online data explorers, which allow users to access numerous variables from the surveys online. In addition, FRA plans to make the micro data from the Agency’s surveys accessible in the public domain. The advantages of different data dissemination modalities will be addressed during the session.

3. Data Sharing Platform datorium
Ms Natascha Schumann (GESIS Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences)

Within the social science research community data sharing has been practiced for a long time at least for big and institutional established research projects. But especially for smaller research projects there was a lack of sufficient possibilities to publish their data. To answer these demands the GESIS Data Archive implemented a data sharing platform with the name datorium. As a web-based service its headline goals are to be open and easy without losing the reliability of an established data archive. By providing a convenient but subject specific service, datorium supports researchers to make their data available.