Examining barriers for establishing a national data service
A system for monitoring the current situation of Data Archive Services (DAS) maturity in European countries was developed during the CESSDA Strengthening and Widening in (SaW 2016 and 2017) and further adapted in CESSDA Widening Activities 2018 (WA 2018) projects for continuous monitoring. An assessment of the existing national data sharing culture, the development of the social science sector and its production of high-quality research data, the funders’ research data policy requirements, and the capacity and skills of national grassroots initiatives, provide a framework for understanding the current situation in different countries. Methods used in the projects, included desk research of existing documents and a survey, combined with extensive interviews focused on the area of expertise of the informants (individuals from data services, research and decision makers’ representatives from each country). The focus of the paper is the situation in 20 non-member CESSDA European countries with emerging and immature DAS initiatives. Results show that countries are slowly but persistently removing the key obstacles in establishing a DAS initiative in their respective countries. The remaining obstacles reside mainly outside the control of the data professional community – namely research funders slowly adopt data sharing policies and incentives for data sharing, including the provision of a sustainable DAS infrastructure, capable of supporting researchers with publishing and accessing research data. The results show that the lack of expertise and skills of DAS initiatives, their understanding of tools and services or organizational settings are not such an issue, as more mature DAS are organising training and mentorship activities. Detailed guidance in the DAS advocacy and planning was prepared in the framework of the above-mentioned pan-European and some past regional projects. The tools and framework of those activities will be referred to in the discussions as a resource that can be used in other countries and continents.
Copyright (c) 2020 Janez Štebe
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