chapter  5
13 Pages

The involvement of Central and Eastern European data archives and data providers in forming a pan-European research infrastructure for social sciences BRIGITTE HAUSSTEIN

Social science data archives provide services in the area of acquisition, processing, documenting and making available various kinds of social data. They are major facilities for empirical social research, especially for comparative research. In order to conduct this research to a high level, an adequate infrastructure is required that is able to provide an essential service to the research teams. The archival networks are contributing to making national data resources internationally available. In this way, they are enabling the international science community to share available data and contributing to the accumulation of knowledge by contrasting data from different sources. This chapter analyses the development of the data infrastructure in Eastern

European countries. It focuses on institutional structures, the funding situation as well as data access and dissemination conditions in the respective countries. Different ways of establishing a data archive are described and the role of networking activities in this process is discussed. The analysis ends with a description of special needs of data archiving institutions in the region, which still have to be addressed. In 2008 the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures pub-

lished its second (updated) report, the European Roadmap for Research Infrastructures 2008, which offers new possibilities for the development of a panEuropean data infrastructure for social sciences (ESFRI 2008). By an upgrade of the existing Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) Research Infrastructure (RI) it is planned to create a centralised resource which will enable researchers to discover data materials from different countries and will facilitate cross-national and comparative research.1

This chapter explores how the archives and archive initiatives in the Eastern European countries will be involved in this long-term process.