Doctor, My Data! Data Archive Support for Large Research Projects

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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.

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Doctor, My Data! Data Archive Support for Large Research Projects

  1. 1. Doctor, My Data!Data Archive Support for LargeResearch ProjectsLaurence Horton, Alexia KatsanidouGESIS – Leibniz Institute for theSocial SciencesIASSIST 2013, Cologne, 28 May2013.Thomas, Gerald, dir. Carry on Doctor.The Rank Organisation, 1967. Film.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
  2. 2. Arguments pushing RDMGoodscienceGood politicsData re-use
  3. 3. German funding bodies• Federal Ministry of Education Research• German Research Foundation (DFG)• Smaller institutional foundations (Leibniz-Institute)
  4. 4. Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft(DFG)• 1998: Recommendation: “Primary data as the basis forpublications shall be securely stored for ten years in adurable form in the institution of their origin”• 2009: Recommendation to implement discipline-specific standards and procedures for long-termretention and sharing of data• 2010: Researchers applying for funding have toprovide information on which “measures will beimplemented to ensure their management, curationand long- term preservation for future reuse”
  5. 5. GESIS’s Role• We don’t have an institutional relationship• We don’t have a funding mandate to serve• We do have integrated relationships withlong standing and significant researchprojects
  6. 6. • German Longitudinal Election Study– funded 2009 to 2018 by German Society forElectoral Studies (DGfW)– federal and state elections in Germany– will cover three federal elections (2009, 2013,and 2017)
  7. 7. • Tuning Educational Structures– comparable and compatible degrees profiles– Started in 2000 focused on European universities.Expanded to Latin America– Now active in Europe, Latin America, USA, Asia,Australia and Africa– Funded by EC Lifelong Learning Program Educationand Culture DG– between the University of Deusto (Spain) andUniversity of Groningen (Netherlands)
  8. 8. PIREDEU (Providing an Infrastructurefor Research on Electoral Democracy inthe European Union)• Research into citizenship, politicalparticipation, and electoral democracy inthe EU– 13 institutions– 2009, 2014 European Election Study
  9. 9. Typical problems• Poorly described• Vulnerable storage• Problems with consent and anonymisation• Problems with ownership
  10. 10. Approaches to RDM supportWe’re never goingto be in one place:• Retrospective• Prospective• OngoingSource: © UniversalStudios. All rights Reserved
  11. 11. Two forms of intervention• Projects withimmediate RDMproblems that need“treatment”• Preventative care– Integrated role forarchives in theresearch project asmembers ofresearch team orconsultancy basis
  12. 12. Areas on which to focus…• RDM arguments still tied too closely tofunding requirements• Must focus on the good sciencearguments• International cooperation/national (orstate) level problems• What about small research projects?

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