The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) and the Committee on Data (CODATA) have formalised a strategic partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), underlining their joint commitment to advancing interdisciplinary research and promoting the principles of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) data for Social Sciences and other research disciplines. Simon Hodson, Executive Director of CODATA, and Bonnie Wolff-Boenisch, Director of CESSDA, celebrated this agreement at last week’s International Data Week in Salzburg, Austria (see photo).
The collaborative venture stems from a shared recognition by CODATA and CESSDA that addressing major global challenges necessitates robust and trusted research infrastructures cutting across societal, ecological, and economic domains. Building upon existing affiliations, including CODATA’s membership in the DDI Alliance and CESSDA’s active participation in European research projects, this MoU is a natural progression in their collaborative journey.
CESSDA, a flagship European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), comprises 22 member countries and is committed to providing a sustainable research infrastructure for the European Social Science research community. CESSDA hosts the CESSDA Data Catalogue (CDC) one of the largest social sciences data catalogues worldwide with 37,000 data collections. The new CESSDA strategy (2023-2027) places a strong emphasis on cross-disciplinary research, data and metadata interoperability and the need to integrate social sciences in other research disciplines.
CODATA, the Committee on Data of the International Science Council (ISC), is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing science as a global public good through the promotion of open, accessible and usable data for all areas of research. CODATA champions the FAIR principles and advocates for data openness to foster global collaboration and scientific progress through an extensive programme of task groups, working groups, strategic partnerships, and collaborative international projects such as WorldFAIR.
Both organisations are united in their goal of advancing interdisciplinary research to tackle global challenges, while recognizing the pivotal role of social sciences data in this context. The collaboration aims to enhance capacity in supporting interdisciplinary research while implementing FAIR principles and ethical requirements.
The MoU outlines several areas where CODATA and CESSDA will initiate joint activities in the context of the global cross-disciplinary partnership of the WorldFAIR Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework. Both organisations will collaborate on supporting the implementation, tooling, and further development of the DDI-CDI standard, and on policy issues, focusing on research infrastructure sustainability, interoperability, and long-term data preservation and the onboarding to the CDC. “The collaboration between CESSDA and CODATA represents a significant step forward in our collective efforts to enhance the impact of research infrastructures and research data at European and global level”, said Bonnie Wolff-Boenisch, Director of CESSDA. “By combining our strengths and expertise, we will contribute substantially to addressing complex challenges. We will pave the way for transformative advancements in cross-disciplinary research and data management”, said Simon Hodson, Executive Director of CODATA.