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Bringing Researchers into the Game with FORSbase: An Integrated System for Archiving, Networking, and Survey Construction

Presenter 1
Brian Kleiner
Swiss Centre for Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS)

Small data archives in Europe often lack the resources for adequate documentation and delivery of data. FORSbase is an IT project in the works at the Swiss Centre for Expertise in the Social Sciences. FORS in Lausanne will facilitate and automate documentation and access in order to free resources for promotional and training activities. Its goal is: to combine within a single system and database a wide range of archiving functions and tools for researchers to document and deposit their data; access data and metadata; establish contacts and communicate with other researchers; and, to create and carry out surveys. All of this is done within individual researcher workspaces, where specific project descriptions and data are safely stored. Within the workspaces, researchers will also have access to a messaging system, a question data bank, a survey management tool, and other resources to assist them in their work. The benefits of such a system for researchers are the ease with which they can manage and store their data, as well as search for and directly download the data of others. Plus, the system will provide tools that help in designing and implementing surveys that are documented throughout the life cycle.

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