WP2 – Dissemination and Communication




In order to meet its ambition of offering a seamless social science data archive service for the whole of the European Research Area and to have the overall desired impact of initiating the transformation of the user experience of social science data in Europe and beyond, the project will need to pay special attention to both its internal and external communication. Establishing a plan of action for external communication side of the project, which builds on CESSDA’s own and newly established communication strategy and thus guarantees integrity, shall ensure this.

The relevant target audiences for the different outputs of the project shall be clearly defined, looking at the different users of data and their needs, as well as developing clear objectives and messages for each and finding the best means to communicate them.

This work package sets out do this through the following tasks and deliverables:

• Task 2.1 Establishment of a knowledge-sharing platform for ERA data archives
• Task 2.2 Communication Hub and Website
• Task 2.3 Dissemination Events and Stakeholder Workshops

In addition, several communication tasks appear in other work packages that are not addressed here, but that will be crucial to the effective communication of the project results (c.f. work package 3 and 5). Furthermore, the impact of communication activities will be monitored individually and on a regular basis throughout the lifetime of the project so as to ensure optimum efficiency whether it be via web based tools or surveys, by evaluating media coverage and overall visibility of the project results or via internal communication methods.

Description of work and role of partners Partners:


Task 2.1 – Establishment of a knowledge-sharing platform for ERA data archives
Led by GESIS with 6PM with support from ADP with 3PM and SND with 3PM; and 0.5PM for all remaining project partners, bringing the total to 26PM. Work begins in M1 and continues until M24.

A significant amount of knowledge has been accumulated over the years by all CESSDA partners. This knowledge is to a great extent documented in papers, presentations, guidelines and training materials. All these materials are either not archived in a downloadable form or they are scattered across the various service provider websites. All consortium partners will benefit enormously from a centralisation and systematisation of all these materials. This will create an online archive of collective knowledge that can be used at any time to improve a number of skill sets. Open access will ensure use by a wider audience.

To achieve this, task 2.1 will be divided into a technical and a content part. The technical part will produce an online knowledge-sharing platform, using the appropriate software and adapting it to the needs of the consortium. A significant number of content organisation software exists, that can potentially be useful for structuring the existing materials. The consortium will opt for an easy to use software that will enable correct classification, metadata structures, efficient search, and interactive collaboration. The first step is to identify potential software solutions and test them. Once this choice is made, the software will be adapted for the needs of the knowledge-sharing platform and the specific topics that CESSDA covers. It will have to be programmed in such a way to be efficiently docked on the CESSDA website. It will be based on a data model and metadata schema adapted to the nature of the content and that will enable correct cataloguing and efficient search.

The content part of this task will involve an active search and collection of all existing materials. The task team will then put out a call for all CESSDA members and associated social sciences archives to share their relevant materials. Also, specific selection criteria will be adopted in order to ensure high quality standards. The criteria will be used in the future as quality standards across CESSDA and the selection process will remain in place for future calls for materials. To achieve open access, all materials will be adequately licensed in order to protect the authors but not hinder sharing of the materials. What’s more, all materials will be offered a persistent identifier (PID) to ensure easy and efficient referencing. A concept will be developed on how to assign PIDs to training materials. These PIDs will be offered by (GESIS the dara project (http://www.dara.de/en/home/) the registration agency for social and economic data. To ensure a sustainable platform in the long-term, this task will set in place an Editorial Committee and editors as well as a Forum Content and Management Plan that specifies how content will be introduced into the platform during the project but also outlines how the forum is maintained as a useful and used platform into the future. Long term, this forum may assist the development of a curriculum content and on-line learning facility for a globally recognised qualification in digital data services for the social sciences.

2.1.1 An Editorial Committee is put in place, and editors are selected. The role of the Committee will be to vouchsafe the long-term development and management of the platform, and act as an instance of quality assurance. The editors will come from the partners with efforts in this task but with the general intention that once the project is over, there will be a rotating editorship (MS2.1).

2.1.2 A virtual Stakeholders’ Forum will be arranged to garner ideas about the platform and establish what content and functionality is required (MS2.3). A Forum report is put together to provide a basis for the development of the platform and its Content and Management Strategy (D2.1).

2.1.3 Based on the report from D2.1, a Platform Content and Management Policy will be developed, taking into account how content and functionality will be developed during the course of the project, but also specifying how CESSDA will maintain the forum post-project. This strategy will also include how the Editorial Committee will be selected and editors be appointed in the future (D2.2).

2.1.4 Development, beta testing, and launching of the platform. The beta testing (MS2.4) will involve project partners as well as other stakeholders. The launched platform will constitute Deliverable 2.3.The concept underlying the knowledge platform is to promote knowledge and skill transfer through open access structures, offering a number of tools, such as, for instance, summaries inspired by get Abstract, which has become the world’s largest provider of business book summaries (c.f. getabstract.com). The result will thus be the creation of a single point of contact in the form of an extended open access online reference library containing a range of different types of materials from all stages of the data lifecycle. Interested parties can consult these at any time for information on state of the art of data curation and data management and interact. As mentioned above, the knowledge-sharing platform will be docked on the CESSDA website, meaning that it will continue to be supported after the end of the project.

Task 2.2 – Communication Hub and Website The Task will be delivered by CESSDA AS with 4PM. The task begins at M1 and ends at M24.

Serving as a central hub for handing over main project outputs and services to specified target audiences, publishing project news and events, CESSDA AS will provide a tailored and user friendly website as well as an interactive knowledge-sharing platform where all partners can interact and share relevant information (c.f. task 2.1 above). The relevant additional sections on the CESSDA website will be developed and internal communication tools will be used to ensure effective and efficient collaboration between all project partners. The corporate identity and communication tools will be developed for the project in line with what is being developed for CESSDA to ensure consistency and integrity with a permanent infrastructure. CESSDA AS, as work package leader, will ensure the quality of the web based pages and tools as well as engage with other WP leaders and partners so as to ensure the appropriate level of dissemination for each of the WP outputs, services, tools, events, etc. Furthermore, CESSDA MO is developing a centrally managed contact database that will ensure that the project results reach the target audiences and a broader community of interested parties. CESSDA AS will regularly monitor and gather feedback on its website and knowledge platform via public tools (e.g. web analysis tools and FAQ) and internal methods (e.g. internal communications working group, surveys, etc.). The benefits of developing the CESSDA website in a way that best suits the needs of the project will be to ensure the key role of CESSDA as the coordinating body of the project and mean that all that is developed over the lifetime of the project will not be lost and can continue to be a crucial part of CESSDA products and services well into the future.

Task 2.3 – Dissemination Events and Stakeholder Workshops The task begins in M1 and ends by M24.
The Milestone is the dissemination event in M21. It is led by CNRS with 5.5PM, with support from CESSDA AS with 2PM.

Dissemination event – An aim of this task is to communicate the core messages of the project in the way best suited to the target audiences identified at the start of the project. The ambition is to have one high visibility and high impact event that brings together all the stakeholders of social science data infrastructure: EU and ministerial representatives; representatives of the social science research community (for example from national research institutes); data producers (for example funding councils, private research organisations, national statistical institutes); and potential data service participants (from, for example, social science librarians, institutes that undertake a data sharing function, even if limited); and different types of users of data. Such a high-level conference would be aimed at institutional and political decision makers and its main purpose would be to show what a seamless social science data archive service for the whole of the ERA could look like and why it is desirable. It could have a special focus on the user experience of searching for data and go beyond the European landscape. This is in line with the objective of the project, which is to facilitate access to social science data resources for researchers regardless of the location of either researcher or data.

Stakeholder Workshops – Other workshops or smaller events may also be organised where there is a need to disseminate findings and gather new input on a specific topic or to a specific audience not addressed by the high-level conference mentioned above. For instance, the first part of the objective of the project is to develop the maturity of every national data archive service in Europe, and to develop it in a coherent and deliberate way towards the vision of a comprehensive, distributed and integrated social science data research infrastructure. It could therefore be envisaged to organise a workshop focused on the national data archives themselves. It would present the arguments in favour of and the benefits of supporting sustainable national data services. At this workshop, CESSDA Main Office would have high visibility and will be supported by speakers who represent the various stakeholder groups listed from countries with well established and supported data services. The SaW project needs to interact at the working level with representatives of its stakeholders at the working level. Throughout the project the use of workshops is referenced in order to inform the discovery of the state of the art and infrastructure requirements (WP3) and to inform the construction of Development Packages (WP4). It is proposed that a minimum of 3 CESSDA SaW Workshops are held through the duration of the project, in Months 6, 12, and 18. These workshops will be themed but by necessity will cover several related aspects of the project. These workshops can be more substantial, better promoted, better attended, with project coordinator leadership, representing better value for money than the alternative of each work package or even task developing its own collection of workshops. Each workshop would be designed to attract approximately 20, plus 4 presenters and facilitators from the project. The Dissemination event would be designed to attract 40 attendees. With an estimated amount of 800 EUR per participant for travel & subsistence costs, this would result in a requested travel budget of approximately 80,000 EUR. The person resources for presenters and facilitators are included in the relevant work package descriptions.