October 28, 2008 -- The Library of Congress hosted a meeting on October 14-15, 2008, of social science data stewards from seven nations to discuss forming a Data Archive Technology Alliance. Organizers of the meeting included the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research, which is the lead partner for the NDIIPP Data-PASS project.
The intent of the meeting was to establish a network of social science data archives to collaborate in developing shared technologies for the future. Cooperation would aim to promote and set standards for shared, open-source and community developed technologies for data curation, preservation, and sharing. Among the reasons cited for forming the alliance was progress in developing multi-institutional workflow processes in the United States through Data-PASS; in Europe through the Council of European Social Science Data Archives (external link); and in Australia through the Australian Social Science Data Archive (external link).
Presentations focused on existing standards, shared technological approaches, funding models and governance structures. Spirited discussion led to a broad consensus for moving ahead with alliance planning. The group also agreed that it was critical to clearly define the purpose and outcome of the effort in a manner that would appeal to potential funders.
Meeting participants agreed to develop a shared inventory of their existing tools and services along with a list of new technological developments that would enhance data stewardship. The group also outlined plans for continuing discussions. Myron Gutmann, director of the Data-PASS project and an organizer of the meeting, expressed hope that additional organizations would join the group. Gutmann encouraged interested parties to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.