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OpenAIRE at the CESSDA Training Workshop in Athens


 Scope of the workshop: A training workshop was organised by the research community of CESSDA on May 13th. The workshop was hosted by So.Da.Net, the Greek Research Infrastructure for Social Sciences, and followed a train-the-trainer approach to inform SSH experts and managers in data archives about the Data Management Expert Guide (DMEG).

The DMEG: To better support researchers in managing data derived from research in the Social Sciences and Humanities, CESSDA ERIC service providers prepared the DMEG guide which emphases on specific stages and concepts encountered in a research lifecycle. The DMEG unfolds in 7 chapters and the topics covered by each chapter can be seen below:

  1. Plan - provides the basis of Research Data Management (RDM) and the FAIR principles in the SSH to familiarise researchers with the procedures of documentation, cost estimation and writing Data Management Plans (DMPs), among others things.
  2. Organise & Document - delivers good ways of structuring folders, files and organising data so they are easily shared and understood by others, enabling reproducibility.
  3. Process - specifies the practices that ensure quality of data is maintained during and after coding and analysis, using both quantitative and qualitative methods, for short and long-term purposes.
  4. Store - advises on good ways of storing data to prevent loss as well as lists measures that secures access of sensitive data.
  5. Protect - lays mostly on the compliance processes undertaken to protect personal and sensitive data, relevant to GDPR, general data protection and ethics assessments.
  6. Archive & Publish - informs about the different routes of publishing in repositories and highlights best practices for accessing, re-using and citing data.
  7. Discover - focuses on finding and retrieving data and metadata records and lists CESSDA trusted repositories and other relevant subject-oriented or generic platforms.

The workshop in Athens focused on RDM, GDPR and Data Discovery issues.

Overview, highlights and data conversations: The day started with host Dimitra Kondyli from SO.DA.NET welcoming everyone to the workshop and initiating a tour de table for people to get to know each other and express their opinions on what they expect to gain from the training.

A quick introduction to DMEG by Gry Henriksen from the Norwegian Center for Research Data (NSD) called for the start of the first session. Gry informed about the structure of DMEG, its scope and content coverage, providing also tips for the trainers when training others in using the guide. Complementary to teaching methods and discussions around activities per audience and occasion, session acknowledged and highlighted difficulties in engaging researchers with RDM. Some curation activities are undertaken by archivists but this is neither enough nor efficient in the long run. The need for researchers to become data management literate became apparent.

Second session of the workshop was more compliance-driven. Specifically, the topics that were covered are GDPR and EU OA requirements and mandates. Elli Papadopoulou from OpenAIRE gave a presentation about the OpenAIRE mission and position in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the European fora. Elli then emphasised in supporting services and capabilities available for researchers and research communities while highlighting the role of OpenAIRE NOADs, located in 34 countries so far. Having the DMEG as a paradigm, she also indicated OpenAIRE added-value services and sources that could be added in the guide. Next in the programme was Anne-Mette Somby from the Norwegian Center for Research Data (NSD) talking about data protection from the point of view of researchers. Since SSH data are mostly survey data, the presentation concentrated in understanding consent and differences in formulating consent forms. Conversations touched upon data and consent longevity and re-use and there seemed to be a growing demand for understanding how to use and re-use social media data from Facebook and Twitter.

Last two sessions of the CESSDA workshop were dedicated to chapter 7 of the DMEG: Discovery. Sarah King-Hele from the UK Data Service, shared good practices for discovering data and listed quite a few useful sources while explaining the differences between existing online platforms (databases, journals, repositories, registries).

Discussions at the end were of exceptional interest, encouraging knowledge, practices and ideas exchange. Among the topics touched upon, was researchers' incentivisation in using the archives. Elli suggested that citing data is usually a good incentive for researchers, helping them gain credits while increasing their research integrity. Overall, the conversations unveiled the strengths of research communities and underlined the importance of research communication and collaboration with other stakeholders including the EOSC in achieving interoperability and compliance while contributing to sustainability models exploration. Attendees embraced OpenAIRE's efforts and contribution to Open Science building blocks in Europe, and some of them expressed interest in further exploring collaborations and partnerships with OpenAIRE-Advance (project) and OpenAIRE Legal Entity.

​You may find the programme of the workshop here.

All material and slides of the workshop will be uploaded at the CESSDA community in Zenodo.


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24 Jan 2021

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