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Sustainability of Social Science Data Archives: A Historical Network Perspective

Presenter 1
Kristin R. Eschenfelder
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Presenter 2
Kalpana Shankar
University College Dublin
Presenter 3
Greg Downey
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Presenter 4
Rebecca Lin
University of Wisconsin-Madison

This paper will summarize preliminary results from a study to analyze the history of sustainability in social science data archives (SSDA). The purpose of the study is to draw out what sustainability challenges SSDA have faced and what strategies they have employed to remain sustainable and relevant given massive changes in technologies, users, data types, revenue sources and data markets.  The paper will summarize historical analysis of documentation from the 1960s to the early 2000s from ICPSR, the UK Data Archive, the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.  The paper will also include a historical network analysis of interaction among SSDA as represented in full run of IASSIST Quarterly articles from 1960 to the early 2000s. The project's broader goal is to understand how the history of SSDAs can contribute to current conversations on the long term sustainability of other knowledge infrastructures.  To this end, the project seeks to address the successes and failures that SSDA experienced in trying to remain relevant and funded, and the longitudinal changes in relationships among SSDA as they have collaborated and competed to support research in the social sciences.

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