About the Czech Social Science Data Archive



The Czech Social Science Data Archive (ČSDA) at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences accesses, processes, documents and stores data files from social science research projects and promotes their dissemination to make them widely available for secondary use in academic research and for educational purposes.

ČSDA promotes the objectives of the OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding (OECD 2007) in the area of social science research in the Czech Republic.

ČSDA participates in international networks of data organisations and it is the Service Provider for the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). The major objective for CESSDA is to provide seamless access to data across repositories, nations, languages and research purposes. CESSDA encourages standardisation of data and metadata, data sharing and knowledge mobility across Europe.

The main activities of ČSDA may be summarised as follows:

  • Acquiring and archiving datasets from Czech social science research and making them publicly available for secondary analysis
  • Providing technical and organisational support for large-scale survey research programmes, e.g. Czech participation in the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) and the European Social Survey (ESS) or the newly established Czech Household Panel Survey (CHPS)
  • Promoting secondary data analysis in general, i.e. mapping and analysing available sources of data and facilitating their utilization, linking different Czech and international data resources, conducting research in the field of data quality, disseminating information and providing training in data management and survey methodology, etc.

ČSDA is not only a passive depository of electronic databases, but it actively seeks for available social science research data, conducts professional data processing, connects data with relevant research information and the context of other databases and materials and produces and publishes overviews of available data and data sources. In addition the ČSDA pursues independent research activities in the field of methodology including analysis of data quality and collaborates in many research projects at the Institute of Sociology ASCR. The Archive is also a source of research instruments and procedures which have been tested in prior research, thus creating a basis for the implementation of new survey strategies.

Other important ČSDA activities include:

  • Publishing the peer-reviewed scholarly journal Data a výzkum – SDA Info (Data and Research - SDA Info) which focuses on the methods of social research and analysis of social data, data sources for social research and related information technologies
  • Providing and supporting higher education courses in the field of data management and data analysis
  • Maintaining and developing the MEDARD archive which provides data services in the field of qualitative sociological research

Institutional settings

ČSDA is a department of the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The Institute of Sociology is one of the leading Czech research organizations in the domain of social sciences. It relies on an advanced professional and technological background, participates in international collaboration and has a long-standing record for implementation and coordination of international projects. The Institute of Sociology is an independent public research institution operating within the structure of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

ČSDA is the Service Provider for the pan-European distributed research infrastructure CESSDA. CESSDA mission is "to improve social science research across the European Research Area (ERA) by providing, on not for profit basis, a comprehensive and integrated social science data research infrastructure which will facilitate and support research, teaching and learning of the highest quality throughout the social sciences". ČSDA is also a member of the International Federation of Data Organisations (IFDO) and REGIO - the Central European Data Archives Network. ČSDA coordinates and contribute into organisation of Czech participation in the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP).

ČSDA and Czech participation in CESSDA are included into the Czech Roadmap for Research Infrastructures and supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (project reg. No. LM2010006).

Scientific Advisory Board of the Czech Social Science Data Archive (CSDA‐SAB)

The Scientific Advisory Board of the Czech Social Science Data Archive (CSDA-SAB) is an advisory body to the Director of the Institute of Sociology. CSDA-SAB:

  • Discusses a long-term orientation of scientific, research, technical development and other creative activities carried out at CSDA
  • Issues recommendation on further heading of CSDA
  • Provides an independent advices on organisational and service quality issues
  • Responds to further questions submitted by the Director

Click here for the Statutes and Rules of Procedure of CSDA-SAB.

CSDA-SAB members:

  • Prof. Adrian Duşa (Chair of CSDA-SAB), University of Bucharest, Romanian Social Data Archive (RODA)
  • Dr. Michal Frankl, Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. Alexia Katsanidou, GESIS, Cologne; CESSDA Board of Directors
  • Prof. Martin Kreidl, Faculty of Social Studies of the Masaryk University in Brno
  • Prof. Algis Krupavičius, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vitautas Magnus University in Vilnius; Lithuanian Data Archive for Humanities and Social Sciences (LiDA)
  • Dr. Triin Roosalu, Tallinn University, School of Governance, Law and Society

Brief history

A publicly accessible social science data archive was established at the Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in 1998 under the name Sociological Data Archive (SDA). In 1999, it became an independent research department of the Institute. In 2001 SDA successfully applied for membership in the Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA), which at that time was an informal federation of European data archives. In 2005 the DDI international standard for the data documentation and the Nesstar system for online data catalogue were implemented at SDA. In 2006 CESSDA was included into the ESFRI Roadmap of European Research Infrastructures. In 2010 SDA and its project of Czech participation in new pan-European CESSDA research infrastructure were included into the Czech Roadmap for Research Infrastructures and accepted by the Czech Government for finnancing. In 2011, the new name, the Czech Social Science Data Archive, was introduced to reflect the expansion of services. In 2013 the Consortium of  European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) and CESSDA AS as a legal entity and a new pan-European research infrastructure were established by 13 member states including the Czech Republic. ČSDA became the CESSDA Service Provider.