John B. Howard
University Librarian, University College Dublin; Executive Director, Irish Social Science Data Archive
University College Dublin
Francis P. McManamon
Executive Director, Center for Digital Antiquity
Arizona State University
Building European Research Infrastructure for Social Sciences: The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (Howard)
Established in 2002, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) aims to promote the scientific integration of Europe, and maintains a roadmap of pan-European research infrastructures and supports their development. Research Infrastructures are developed across a number of thematic areas, ranging from preliminary projects to landmark organizations that become formalized as European Research Infrastructure Consortia, or ERICs. Under the heading of Social and Cultural Innovation, the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA, a candidate ERIC) provides large-scale, integrated and sustainable data services to the social sciences by supporting high-quality, national and international research and cooperation. Through shared infrastructure and increased harmonization of practices among CESSDA service providers, tangible benefits will be realized that advance research nationally as well as across European boundaries. The presentation will review the context, objectives, and work plan of CESSDA, identifying opportunities and challenges for social science data producers, service providers, and researchers, referencing the Irish Social Science Data Archive as a case study of a national service provider.
tDAR: A Domain Repository for Academics, Business, Government, and Scholars (McManamon)
The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) is a unique repository for data sets, documents, images, geospatial data, scanned data, and other kinds of digital information related to archaeology and cultural heritage research and resources. The repository was developed and is maintained by the Center for Digital Antiquity (DA) at Arizona State University (ASU). DA works collaboratively with the ASU Library and its informatics and repository services. The repository provides a solution to the challenge of preserving digital archaeological data in all its many forms for research projects funded with the requirement for generated data to be placed in an accessible repository. Data in tDAR are international, spanning the archaeological and historical records of all continents. The content grows daily; at present it includes over 370,000 records of archaeological reports and other documents (10,000 of these include a digital full-text file), 20,000 images, 1,200 data sets, and other digital data files. The repository is used by researchers from a range of universities, in addition to ASU. Private sector consulting firms and public agencies in need of a digital repository where their data can be managed also use tDAR. The data management approach utilized in tDAR places citation of archaeological data on a new level using persistent identifiers, enhancing the potential impact of academic research findings. Another novel aspect of the tDAR repository is an analytical “tool kit” that provides the means to integrate different data sets for secondary descriptive and analytical use of data. Data, images, and specialized documents that supplement or support articles and books published in traditional scholarly outlets can be placed in tDAR and made available for subsequent uses, including independent test and validation of research results. Grey literature and data not destined to appear in traditional scholarly journals or publications have a home in tDAR where they can be discovered, accessed, preserved, and used. Initial support by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was essential for the creation of DA and the development of tDAR for public use.