Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives
General Info


Solheimsgaten 16, 5058 Bergen, Norway

legal status



virtual, remote

The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) is a distributed Research Infrastructures serving as a large scale, integrated and sustainable platform for data services relevant to the social sciences. It supports high-quality, national and international research and cooperation by bringing together social science data archives across Europe, with the aim of facilitating social, economic and political research, and allowing researchers to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing society today, thus contributing to the production of effective solutions. In the ESFRI Roadmap since 2006, CESSDA has been listed as a success story in the Roadmap 2010. CESSDA became a limited company under Norwegian law (CESSDA AS) in 2013 and a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in July 2017. Presently, 22 countries are Members of the Consortium, and one country is a formal Observer. Additionally, social science data archives from nine other European countries are cooperating, taking part in some activities or aiming at membership.
Total Investment 117 M€ Design 4 M€ Preparation 2,7 M€ Implementation 78 M€ Operation 39 M€/year Project Landmark 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024 2026 2028 2030 2032 2034 2036 2038 RM06 RM08 RM10 RM16 RM18 RM21 LA24
Roadmap Entry
as project: 2006
as landmark: 2016
Total investment
117 M€
Design Phase
4 M€
Preparation Phase
2,7 M€
Implementation Phase
78 M€
Operation start
39 M€/year
CESSDA has already had an impact on the social sciences and related research communities. CESSDA Data Catalogue provides a single interface to thousands of unique datasets from social science data archives across Europe, thus widening access to data, permitting European comparative research and providing an input into numerous scientific publications. CESSDA also has an impact on its area of work by providing effective leadership and acting as a catalyst for change across its area of interest − data curation in its broadest sense − by allowing the transfer of knowledge and tools across the consortium and reducing duplication of certain activities. All CESSDA’s objectives have the end-user of the data holdings of the various Service Providers at their heart. Every objective ensures that the rights of the data subjects and the responsibilities of the data owners are managed appropriately. CESSDA supports Open Data, but only in cases where the rights of the subjects and the data controllers are respected.
CESSDA ERIC provides a suite of services to enhance scientific excellence and ensure accessible, high-quality data for global researchers. The CESSDA Data Catalogue (CDC), the largest of its kind, features over 37,000 datasets in 15 languages, curated and maintained for FAIR principles, with accessibility broadened through various organisational harvests. In FAIR and Research Data Management, CESSDA excels by offering support across the Research Data Lifecycle, including domain-specific metadata curation, open data access, long-term preservation, and extensive training. CESSDA also conducts research in data science and management, focusing on metadata interoperability, digital preservation, and emerging data types like social media to tackle challenges in data accessibility and examine the impact of AI on archival practices. CESSDA employs industry-standard tools and techniques to ensure the quality and reliability of its software services, including Continuous Integration and Testing pipelines and EOSC services for monitoring. We also provide technical advice to other Research Infrastructures within the European Research Area, actively participating in significant initiatives like the European COVID-19 Data Platform. Additional services include the CESSDA Vocabulary Service, which enhances data discoverability with controlled vocabularies in multiple languages. The Data Management Expert Guide and Data Archiving Guide help researchers achieve FAIR data standards, while the CESSDA Metadata Model and Validator enhance data discoverability and ensure metadata quality. These combined efforts support CESSDA's mission to promote scientific excellence and provide seamless access to essential data resources.
D I G I T E N E E N V H & F P S E
Disciplinary collaborations take place through the SSH Cluster (SSHOC). With CLARIN and DARIAH, CESSDA is sustaining the SSHOC Marketplace. CESSDA has a MoU with OPERAS. It advises the GGP in the set up of a permanent research infrastructure (RI). CESSDA collaborates with non-SSH ERICs. In the BY-COVID project, it worked together with other RIs, including ELIXIR, on data sharing in support of European preparedness. CESSDA and ECRIN collaborate on metadata schemas for basic discovery metadata schemas. The resemblance between metadata schemas between CESSDA and ECRIN could serve as a promising starting point to implement a common search mechanism. CESSDA's collaboration in enhancing open-source tools contributes significantly to research reproducibility beyond SSH. With JupyterHub, users can tailor computational environments to their specific needs, fostering collaborative reproducibility and broadening access across diverse research communities. In the project Climate Neutral and Smart Cities the Norwegian member collaborates on behalf of ESS with INSTRUCT. More recently, CESSDA has signed a MoU with CODATA of the ISC to further interdisciplinary research and metadata interoperability.