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The Data Archive Technologies Alliance: Looking towards a Common Future

Presenter 1
Myron Gutmann
ICPSR, University of Michigan

For more than a decade social science data archives and other providers of social science data have used the new technologies of the World Wide Web and advanced programming systems to integrate their internal workflows and systems for delivering data and other content to their users. In this environment two trends emerged: individual, proprietary systems custom-developed for individual archives (such as that at ICPSR, the IPUMS project, and many others), and general-purpose systems that were designed to be installed and used in many archives (such as Nesstar and the DataVerse Network). The proliferation of such systems, and the increasing cost of developing and maintaining them, has led to proposals for increased open source and community development approaches that would allow archives to share a common architecture and common tools, while allowing extensive customization of workflows and data delivery systems. In October, 2008, a group met to discuss the creation of a Data Archive Technologies Alliance. This group will report on its activities at IASSIST, focusing on a survey of technology needs among data archives and a list of priority activities for the Alliance as it moves forward.

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