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Doctor, My Data! Data Archive Support for Large Research Projects
Laurence Horton, Alexia Katsanidou
GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
This paper outlines three cases studies of large collaborative research projects and the challenges they face, arguing archives play a caring role when it comes to research data management.
The growing culture of data sharing fosters expectations to do so even if projects do not face such a mandate, or have not prepared a data management plan.
To illustrate, we examine one retrospective case study (Tuning Educational Structures), one prospective case (German Longitudinal Election Study, 2013), and one ‘ongoing management case’, (PIREDEU). This paper illustrates the RDM care role that GESIS – particularly its Archive and Data Management Training Center – plays to ‘fill the gaps’ in support and get data to the reuse community, specifically by providing help in areas ‘around’ standard research practice, like Intellectual Property Rights and preparing datasets for re-use and long-term preservation.
We conclude that data archives can play a role in securing data reuse and long-term preservation. However, archive services must be versatile, responsive units – reactive to many data situations. They should be able to provide primary care as a principal point of consultation for researchers, and secondary specialized care as either a specialist consultant or as a point of referral.