Presentation Open Access

Managing Social Science Metadata at the Data Archive

Zenk-Möltgen, Wolfgang

Increasing requirements for standardized metadata documentation possibilities arise from several challenges that a data archive faces nowadays: There are higher amounts of data to be archived. Data stem from a wider variety of data collection methods. The context of data collection and data re-use is more and more inter-disciplinary. Finally, more institutions exchange data and metadata. These challenges require a well-defined set of metadata standards to be used, extending the perspective beyond the use of DDI as the most prominent Social Science metadata standard. Notably, management of controlled vocabularies, supplied by DDI, ISO, CESSDA or others is needed. Practical considerations also include the use of DDI-Codebook or DDI-Lifecylce, specific versions of these and conversion back and forth between them.

GESIS prepares several large-scale national and international study collections but also archives smaller studies from single-time research projects or dissertations. GESIS creates and maintains documentation on study and variable level according to DDI and other standards, and offers data and documentation for re-use. For this purpose the metadata is transferred to several portals, both at GESIS and outside, e.g. to da|ra, DataCite, CESSDA Data Catalogue, ExploreData, or special purpose portals like x-econ or VerbundFDB. To meet the demands of these portals, and at the same time fulfil the needs of complex survey series as well as of more basic research datasets, it is required to manage the use of documentation standards, workflow processes, and software tools at the data archive.

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