Work Packages

There are 12 work packages in the Data without Boundaries project. By clicking the title in the list below, you can enter short descriptions of each of the WPs. For more information on the organisations involved, see the list of Participants (navigation on the left).

The work packages arranged by WP number:

  • Project Management – WP1
  • Internal and External Communication, Promotion and Dissemination – WP2
  • Enhancing legal, information security and researcher accreditation frameworks for access to data – WP3
  • Improving Access to Official Statistics Microdata – WP4
  • Servicing European Researchers in the use of Official Statistics Microdata – WP5
  • Enlarging cooperation: conferences and training sessions – WP6
  • Standards development – WP7
  • Improving Resource Discovery for Official Statistics Data – WP8
  • On site access to official microdata across Europe – WP9
  • Transnational Remote Access to Safe Data Centres (SDCs) – WP10
  • Improved Methodologies for Managing Risks of Access to Detailed Official Statistics Data – WP11
  • Implementing Improved Resource Discovery for Official Statistics Data – WP12.

    Project Management – WP1

    WP1 aims at ensuring a strong and efficient day-to-day management so that the project meets its objectives on time and within budget constraints. In brief, its objectives are:

    • To ensure administrative and financial management of the project
    • To develop a spirit of co-operation between the partners
    • To ensure consensus management among the partners
    • To monitor work progress, coordinate the activities keeping them within the objectives
    • To ensure project reporting and interface with the European Commission Project Officer.

    Team: CNRS-RQ.

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    Internal and External Communication, Promotion and Dissemination – WP2

    WP2 will ensure both internal and external communication as well as promotion and dissemination of project results. The foremost task of the WP is to build the website, which will serve as a central point of information on the project and as a platform for its outputs. This WP will also produce promotional material, organize promotion campaigns, and co-ordinate networking with stakeholders.

    Team: UTA-FSD, CNRS-RQ, NSD.

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    Enhancing legal, information security and researcher accreditation frameworks for access to data – WP3

    WP3 has three interlinked objectives that will help remove barriers for research use of official data:

    1. To develop and promote a widely-recognised standard for researcher accreditation in order to reduce administration and costs, and to improve efficiency and confidence in custodians of official data when providing access.
    2. To collect information on and describe the legal frameworks for research access to official data in the European Research Area. The results will be available for use in policy planning and legal changes and will work as guide for all interested parties on the legal frameworks and accreditation processes for access to data across the ERA.
    3. To identify the challenges and solutions for building and operating a Remote Access facility in compliance with internationally recognised Information Security standards. This WP aims, also, to analyse suitable information security architectures for a co-operational model for linking data centres, and to propose an information security architecture as a credible working model.


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    Improving Access to Official Statistics Microdata – WP4

    Objective of WP4 is to examine how existing e-technology based remote access environments may help widen and enhance data access across the European Research Area. It aims to build a remote access network between existing research data centres. The network will be expandable into a broader network, becoming in time a harmonized system for accessing transnational data, with a harmonized metadata data system, and a well established secure and certificated information system between the remote access centres. In order to reach this goal there will be three specific tasks in WP4. First, a report of the state of the art of current safe centres in Europe, secondly a feasibility study on the organizational architecture for managing pan European access and finally the implementation of a certificated remote access network for some Research Data Centres in Europe.


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    Servicing European Researchers in the use of Official Statistics Microdata – WP5

    WP5 will provide a comprehensive overview of available official data in Europe. It will collect and disseminate information on surveys collected by the national statistical institutes across Europe, and how, by whom and where they can be accessed. WP5 will also provide structured metadata and user friendly routines for Eurostat data and census data.


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    Enlarging cooperation: conferences and training sessions – WP6

    WP6 aims to guarantee co-operation and agreement between different stakeholders on the practice, routines, tools and emerging new research culture that is emerging within the ERA. This objective is reached by fostering the relations between social science data archives, national statistical institutes and researchers. There will a series of biennial conferences for stakeholders to discuss the progress of access to micro-data in Europe; regional workshops in Eastern and Southern Europe to foster relations between the data archives, researchers and the providers of official data; and additional sessions and visits to remote data centres to share practical information on the infrastructure. WP6 will also organise European Users Conferences to provide a platform for discussion of research findings and needs to build a dialogue between researchers and data providers. In addition a series of training courses will improve knowledge about micro-data from official statistics in Europe and foster its use.


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    Standards development – WP7

    WP7 will build a network of cooperation between national statistical institutes and data archives in developing compatible metadata standards. The present state of the art in metadata usage will be explored, and a set of standards with future relevance for European social science data infrastructure needs will be defined.

    We are working in a decentralized environment where standardisation and standards becomes the key to systems and infrastructure development. Metadata is a key concept in the development of access and is the component that converts data into information. It conceptualises and adds substance to figures and creates possibilities for a meaningful search and find, but just as important is that it adds possibilities for metadata driven technology and software. Metadata needs to reflect various requirements and fields, which may change over time and is related to substance and communication content.

    WP7 and WP8 precede the work done in WP12.


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    Improving Resource Discovery for Official Statistics Data – WP8

    WP8 will develop functional requirements for effective resource discovery on data harvested from the national statistical institutes and associated governmental agencies from across Europe. It will evaluate current official statistics metadata & associated interchange formats and develop an object model applicable across the disparate official statistics data. The information will be used in creating a metadata model that incorporates SDMX and DDI as well as any system-specific enrichment required to deliver extended portal functionality. The metadata model will guide consideration of an appropriate technical platform for storage of the metadata. It will also be an appropriate interchange format between national statistical institutes or intermediate data archives managing official statistics and the portal system. These investigations will inform documented work flows and data flows for the harvesting and management of official statistics data. WP8 work precedes that of WP12 and is also connected with WP7.

    More information on SDMX on the webpage of Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange.

    More information on DDI on the webpage of DDI Alliance.

    WP7 and WP8 precede the work done in WP12.


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    On site access to official microdata across Europe – WP9

    WP9 will provide on-site transnational access to official microdata. It mainly aims at enhancing researchers to access highly detailed and sensitive official microdata requiring secure conditions, data that the researchers have no possibility to gain remote access to. Within this WP seven organizations, holding important collections of official datasets, will provide support to researchers for transnational access to official microdata (e.g. funding travel expenses), hosting them on site for periods ranging from a few days to two months where they will be able to discover data, prepare projects and accreditation, go through the accreditation process, the enrolment session, and work on datasets. They could also continue their work through remote access (under WP 10) once they have been accredited, enrolled, trained and have sufficient knowledge about the data. Regular calls for selection of projects will be issued with specific focus on comparative research requiring access to official microdata held in the different organisations involved. The feedback of the selected research projects will be used as important input for other WPs (like WP4) within the Data without Boundaries project.


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    Transnational Remote Access to Safe Data Centres (SDCs) – WP10

    Within WP10, 4 organizations or accredited sites will provide remote access to confidential data for foreign researchers across Europe. The main objective of this WP is to promote and enhance transnational remote access to confidential data. Under WP10, researchers who have travelled abroad to access certain data onsite under WP9 will be able to continue to access those data remotely from their own country.

    Additionally, conditional to an expected change in the European regulations, the organizations will be able to give transnational access to Eurostat microdata for accredited researchers.

    Regular calls for the selection of research projects will be issued. Researchers will have to go through the national accreditation process before final selection. Joint calls with WP9 will be issued.

    Team: Uessex-UKDA, IAB, CBS, GENES, CNRS-RQ.

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    Improved Methodologies for Managing Risks of Access to Detailed Official Statistics Data – WP11

    WP11 tries to find a balance between data usability in research and disclosure risks for official data sets. The objective of WP11 is to research and develop methods for achieving the best ratio of utility against disclosure risk for datasets to be made available for researchers who are working through an archive or otherwise outside the safe setting of a remote access or research data centre environment.


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    Implementing Improved Resource Discovery for Official Statistics Data – WP12

    WP12 creates a coherent system for resource discovery of official statistics. WP12 will build and implement the plans set out in WP7 and WP8. It will present a single point of information about official and other statistics from both data archives and national statistical institutes. It aims to implement a one-stop shop for data discovery for official statistics data across the European Research Area aligned with the functionality of the CESSDA Portal of the European social science data archives. It will also build an online tabulator and incorporate it into the IECM user interface.

    Team: NSD, RODA, MT, Uessex-UKDA, KNAW-DANS, CED.

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