New pan-European Research Infrastructure
Since its establishment in 1976, CESSDA has served as an informal umbrella organisation for the European national data archives. In June 2013 CESSDA was established as a permanent legal entity owned and financed by the individual member states’ ministry of research or a delegated institution. Norway is hosting CESSDA, and the main office is located in Bergen.
As of to-day 13 European countries are member of CESSDA: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. In addition the Slovak Republic is an observer of CESSDA.
The major objective for CESSDA is to provide seamless access to data across repositories, nations, languages and research purposes. CESSDA will encourage standardisation of data and metadata, data sharing and knowledge mobility across Europe. CESSDA aims to play an active part in the development of standards and, even more important, to encourage and facilitate the use of metadata standards for documenting and publishing the existing inventories of research data available from national as well as cross-national resources in Europe.
Each member is represented by a national institution, a Service Provider, which is responsible for providing relevant services. The Service Providers constitute the CESSDA main resource, and CESSDA integrates the work of the Service Providers and by establishing a one-stop shop for data location, access, analysis and delivery. Software development will increase the quality of available data. Data from sources currently outside CESSDA will also become available. CESSDA will create a more dynamic knowledge management web, contribute to metadata initiatives, improve existing technical infrastructures, promote capacity building, support less developed and less well-resourced organisations, and work toward a widening of CESSDA.