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The beginnings of a European remote access network

Presenter 1
Anja Burghardt
Institute for Employment Research (IAB)
Presenter 2
David Schiller
Institute for Employment Research (IAB)
Presenter 3
Richard Welpton
Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Data about individuals and organisations are routinely collected across the Member States of Europe, through surveys, administrative and financial transactions. Yet access to these micro-data for research purposes, particularly across national borders, is often restricted for confidentiality or legal reasons. Despite the benefits that accrue to society from allowing comparative research to be undertaken using cross-national data sources (such as policy evaluation), researchers face significant barriers in making comparative analyses of data collected in more than one Member State. Legal restrictions on the dissemination and transfer of data, and the consequential cost of visiting the data within its country of origin, prohibit access. – Through the “Data without Boundaries”(DwB) initiative, the European Remote Access Network (Eu-RAN) is a vision of cross-border data access. The realisation of this European data infrastructure dream will evolve step-by-step. Making the first jump requires a connection between two Research Data Centres. The Research Data Centre (FDZ) at IAB and the Secure Lab at the UK Data Archive have joined forces to provide connections to each other’s centres. A researcher in the UK can access sensitive German micro-data held at IAB and vice versa. In this talk, we present the results of our joint-initiative.

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