Training activities for capacity building

Data archives for the social sciences require specialised knowledge and training in a variety of areas. All regional partners will undergo intensive training over the course of the project. Specifically, there will be three training events, hosted each time by a different partner institution.

The first training workshop will be a three-day introduction to the state-of-the-art in data archiving, held between months 2 and 4 of the project in Belgrade. It will target partners from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro, but partners from Croatia and Serbia will attend as well, in order to reinforce their knowledge and to impart what they already know with the less experienced partners. Workshop I will focus on the concepts and principles of archiving, following the OAIS model (Open Archival Information System). It will address how to run a data archive from a practical day-to-day perspective, with emphasis on data management and metadata creation. Another focus of the workshop will be on ethical issues and how to protect the confidentiality of respondents though anonymisation of data and a contractual system for data users. At least one external expert from a CESSDA member institution will participate in the training.

The second workshop will cover data solicitation and curation of both quantitative and qualitative data and will be held in Zagreb. Participants will be expected to arrive with real datasets that will be processed, cleaned, and documented through hands-on training using tools of the trade. There will be presentation and discussion of best practices and standards regarding data preparation and documentation, including the international metadata standard DDI (Data Documentation Initiative). Workshop II will be held between months 12 and 14. Again, at least one expert from a CESSDA member institution will participate.

The last workshop will address standards and best practice in digital data preservation, and will also be for 3 days, to be held between months 18 and 20 in Ljubljana. Workshop III will address standards and best practice in digital data preservation. It will cover the Data Seal of Approval (DSA), the assessment tool used by CESSDA to ensure that its members apply best practices in digital data preservation. Each participant will evaluate the steps that will need to be taken for them to satisfy the requirements of the DSA. The workshop will also cover important questions concerning data security and backup, from technical and conceptual viewpoints. An external expert in the DSA from a CESSDA member institution will participate.