a) Establish a data archive for the social sciences in Greece. Data contained in the archive are produced through the activities of EKKE, other researchers and research agencies. The information is evaluated and indexed following a selection process. The GSDB collaborates with other parties for data exchange. For more effective operation, the GSDB participates in national and European research and development projects. The GSDB is officially registered as a member of CESSDA (Council of European Social Science Data Archives), in order to facilitate the collaboration with international archives.
b) Develop documentation standards for data and metadata standardisation. At the GSDB we work towards the development of standards for organising and processing data to ensure a good level of homogenisation and comparability in social data. Large - scale data producers already use certain taxonomies to encode specific parameters such as professions, geographical and administrative regions etc. Our contribution is significant in creating new taxonomies and thesauri where needed.
c) Develop the infrastructures for data and metadata dissemination. Through a National Data Inventory System (SIB), the GSDB provides information on available social data. This information does not only involve data, which is available in the GSDB, but other data sources as well. The GSDB also provides information on research activities, through which data is generated, participating partners and research teams. A Special Info Bank has been designed to contain all the necessary information on the social research production and producers of the country. Further, the Node for Secondary Processing (NSP) is being developed to host datasets in micro and aggregate form, metadata, thesaurus and classification tools; for this purpose, tools, measurements and methods have been designed and implemented, and are currently being tested, through the internet, by a significant number of users.
d) Develop a suitable environment for data documentation, analysis and process. The operation of the GSDB offers the possibility of providing comparative data and socio-economic indexes for different countries and for different sectors of social interest. The comparability of data, which is a key factor in supporting the decisions of public administration, is being achieved by the creation of an indexing mechanism through which models and methods have been produced. Thus, data (processing material) from statistical services, research centres, foreign partners or international organisations are processed in order to enhance comparability.
e) Build a mediating agency for the integration of national and European research.The GSDB has already developed data exchange programmes with central archives in other countries. It intends to forge similar ties with national agencies. In a similar way, an effort is underway to enlist all data processing organisations for cooperation within the framework of the GSDB. The collection, organisation, exchange and retrieval of social data and the cooperation between agencies involved in these activities and the GSDB is a prime issue of utmost importance.
f) Develop a research environment for research production/provision, which will act as a network facilitator. The GSDB operation is based on an associatesí network that will support its activities in many ways. They are the data users, who supply updated information and contribute to its expansion and improvement. Individual researchers as well as organisations are members of this network. As part of such networking activities, in view of the development of the European social research area, we have developed and maintain a network for public consultations with data producers, providers and users at national level, to deal with issues of data acquisition, secondary analysis, preservation, and management of operational information.
g) Introduction of the Greek Social Data Bank to graduate students. A new framework of activities is under way, consisting of cooperation with academic departments in the country, for exchange of research and academic data, training of new researchers, supporting post-graduate research. The GSDB aims to familiarise university students with research by using it for essay preparation. GSDB gives them access to bibliography, datasets, social science terms and tools for data analysis. On the other hand, last year, university students were able to apply for internships programmes where they had the chance to work with EKKE research teams by helping them to add content to the GSDB.
For the graduate students the GSDB could function as a laboratory, with the following facilities:
1.Organising of seminars about methodology in empirical social research;
2.Provision of practical research assignments to familiarise students with the field work in empirical social research through:
- Their assistance in the conduct of empirical research.
- Practicing in importing of results and the appropriate documentation of empirical surveys in the database of older surveys conducted by EKKE or other organizations.
- Increasing the GSDB content.
3. Support for essay preparation where secondary analysis is needed.
4. Functioning as an essay bank where essays, Master and PhD Theses could be stored and retrieved. Students are able then to compare their results and their information in specific areas of research. All those documents increase the digital content of the GSDB in certain research areas for the use of Graduate Programmes.