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Modularizing Archive Services in the Social Sciences

Presenter 1
Oliver Watteler
GESIS, Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Social science projects and public institutions produce increasing amounts of data to answer research questions. Although a growing number of these data sources are made available, some data producers are not looking for the "classical" full archival service, but only to particular services like long-term preservation (e.g. in institutional repositories). This development was foreseeable and poses challenges to the organizational structures of existing data service providers.
To address these challenges, the Data Archive of GESIS, the Leibniz Institute for the Social Science, will modularize its service portfolio. We will move away from offering services as fixed "bundles" only (e.g. documentation, long-term preservation, registration, and distribution or onsite access for all) and aim instead at more accurately customized offers for depositors. By modularizing our services and introducing improved workflow management we hope to make archiving and data services more efficient and more beneficial for the scientific community. GESIS will deliver more timely services, research projects will see reduced costs in time and effort (e.g. in data preparation). Other specialized data services providers might profit from hearing of our experience. This presentation reviews the first phase of services restructuring. We set up new workflows and develop management capacities. Its second aim is to open an exchange with other institutions that have undergone structural changes or are planning to do so.

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