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ESRA 2023 Glance Program

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Best practices in research data lifecycle during pandemic times 2

Session Organisers Ms Irena Vipavc Brvar (ADP - Slovene Social Science Data Archives)
Ms Martina Drascic Capar (CESSDA - Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives)
TimeWednesday 19 July, 11:00 - 12:30
Room U6-23

As researchers, we are well equipped with methodological knowledge on research processes. However, we sometimes lack the time to follow new developments in the field or are not aware of all the tools and services available out there that would improve our research process, make it more transparent, and its outputs more visible and accessible.

This session will expose the research data lifecycle phases and tools that accompany it:
- It starts with a good data management plan to get data of highest quality. One might use tools as CESSDA Data Management Expert Guide, or The Multilingual Corpus of Survey Questionnaires.
- It continues with organising and arranging documentation, and
- follows up with processing, which could be especially challenging when working with cross-national surveys (with eg. Web Panel Sample Service).
- Research institutions sometimes offer storage solutions for collected materials, as well as help in resolving ethical and legal issues (secure access to sensitive data) so researchers could
- publish data in trusted repositories (with Core Trust Seal or Nestor Seal certification) where long-term preservation is possible.
- The process is not finished until data and other research outputs are discoverable through different portals (eg. CESSDA Data Catalogue, SSH Marketplace, OpenAIRE, GoTriple…). Once this is secured, we know the data can be reused, enriching the field.

In the last two years, the pandemic has set some limitations, so this session encourages discussion on challenges of completing the lifecycle and producing quality research in challenging times.

We are inviting papers addressing experience on the topic of best practices in the research data lifecycle from different perspectives: providers of the services, researchers using them, and data stewards helping the process. Papers should focus on a certain phase, describe a use case or highlight more broadly best practices and services used in different countries or areas.

Keywords: Research data lifecycle, research data management, RDM in pandemic times


From the data repository to the project partner: The changing role of the Czech Social Science Data Archive and its involvement in the panel survey emerged during the pandemic.

Dr Yana Leontiyeva (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Social Science Data Archive) - Presenting Author
Dr Martin Vávra (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Social Science Data Archive)
Dr Ilona Trtíková (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Social Science Data Archive)

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic a longitudinal survey project called Life During the Pandemic started in the Czech Republic. The initial aim of this panel survey is to observe how the social behavior of the Czech population has evolved since the beginning of the pandemic and how the pandemic and related problems have affected the lives of ordinary people. This research was set up very quickly, with several partners and different funding sources involved during the course of the project. New collaborations were formed; and the Czech Social Science Data Archive (CSDA) was invited to participate in the research in May 2021. CSDA thus found itself in two roles, not only as a repository preserving the data but also as a partner setting up the research topics and collaborating on the research itself.

Research data from the mentioned panel survey is available in the CSDA data catalogue, where it is stored based on the FAIR principles and their long-term preservation is ensured. As CSDA is part of CESSDA, the data and metadata are translated into English and it can be accessed in the CESSDA Data Catalogue and the BY-COVID portal. The panel survey project is ongoing and CSDA is now involved in a larger research project as data facility center. One of the CSDA role for this project is to coordinate the data collection for 15 waves of mentioned panel survey in 2021-2025.

The presentation will discuss the procedures and tools used to make the research process traceable and to ensure the further use of the data from the perspective of the service provider, but also the data steward. Our more general goal is to define best practices in situation of abrupt changes when the data management is driven by the need of acute actions.

The ESS data archive at Sikt*: Tackling change through a modernised data infrastructure

Ms Gyrid Havåg Bergseth (Sikt)
Ms Archana Bidargaddi (Sikt) - Presenting Author
Dr Bodil Agasøster (Sikt)

The presentation will focus on how the European Social Survey (ESS) infrastructure handled the challenges of data production, management, processing and documentation during the pandemic period, seen from the perspective of the ESS data archive. For the data archive, the period was characterised by delayed multi-modal fieldwork and extensive preparatory work, in parallel with the development and implementation of a new infrastructure for research data management, developed in the Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC) project (EC grant #823782, Horizon 2020).

As from late 2021, ESS10 data was processed in the new infrastructure. By December 2022, data from 25 countries had been published on the platform.

In this presentation, Sikt will share lessons learnt in the 2020-2022 period regarding managing ESS data gathered on two instruments, one for each of the two main modes, on a new data platform with cloud-based solutions for processing, documenting, storing and disseminating research data. In times of increased complexity and workload, the new infrastructure enabled the ESS team to deliver robust and sustainable services.

* Sikt – Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research (until 31.12.2021 NSD, the Norwegian Centre of Research data) is the Norwegian Service Provider of CESSDA ERIC as well as the Data archive and dissemination partner of ESS ERIC.

The ODISSEI Portal: Leveraging Metadata to Enhance Data Discovery

Dr Angelica Maria Maineri (Erasmus University Rotterdam) - Presenting Author

Social research is evolving towards the use of complex, interlinked data sources, whereby survey data traditionally deposited at national repositories can be linked to data from other sources, e.g. administrative data stored at statistical offices or commercial data made available by private companies. However, these diverse data sources are scattered across different repositories, lack standardised access requirements and licence information, and are documented using different standards. Such heterogeneity hinders the ability of researchers to find and reuse the appropriate data for their research.

The goal of the ODISSEI Portal is to make diverse data sources available through a unique search interface by leveraging metadata, therefore leaving data providers in control of the access to their datasets. The ODISSEI Portal consists of three main components: first, metadata from different providers is ingested, harmonised, and enriched using semantic artifacts such as multilingual thesauri. Second, the enriched metadata is used to build a knowledge graph that powers an enhanced search functionality. Third, a data access broker enables the user of the ODISSEI Portal to place a request to access a dataset and forwards the request to the data providers, who validate the request. The data access broker relies on a set of machine-readable licences designed to specify additional provisions that often apply to sensitive datasets.

A prototype of the ODISSEI Portal is available ( in order to be able to get feedback from the community. Even though the ODISSEI Portal focuses on data providers in the Netherlands, there are plans to make the platform interoperable with the CESSDA infrastructure.

The ODISSEI Portal fits with the purposes of the session because it shows the value of increasing the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability of data to allow social scientists to answer complex and urgent questions, especially during challenging times.

Archiving and sharing in times of pandemic – The Austrian COVID-19 Pandemic Dataverse

Mr Otto Bodi-Fernandez (University of Graz) - Presenting Author

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, the crisis has had an enormous impact on the everyday lives of all people across the population. Terms such as “social distancing”, “lockdown”, “home office” and “distance learning” were some of the new buzzwords that determined the “new normal” of our society.

As a result, the crisis also had a strong impact on the social science research landscape. More than ever, science was in demand to contribute to overcoming the crisis by providing research findings. Since the beginning of the pandemic, numerous social science studies have been carried out in order to understand the social, economic and psychological consequences of the crisis. This resulted in a large amount of new research data with high re-use potential. The rapid archiving and availability of this data was of great importance in view of the crisis.

The presentation reports on the efforts of AUSSDA -The Austrian Social Science Data Archive to collect the data from the most important studies on COVID-19 in one place (the AUSSDA COVID-19 Pandemic Dataverse) and make them available as fast as possible. With support of the Austrian Ministry of Science, two projects were started to make relevant datasets about COVID-19 accessible in a fast-track process. It showed that the availability of data depended both on different study types (e.g. infrastructure projects, individual research projects, prevalence studies) and on the development of the pandemic itself which required continuous adjustment of project implementation. The presentation outlines the challenges and experiences of fast-track data publishing and uses the example of survey projects such as the Austrian Corona Panel Project (ACPP) or the international Values in Crisis (VIC) study to show how collaboration between researchers, data stewards and archivists can work successfully.