For twenty-five years, the data archive (CSDA) has been offering its services to students and researchers in the field of social sciences. To celebrate this special anniversary, the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences organized a conference to revaluate the inception of the concept of sharing scientific data in the 1990s, leading to the integration of the Czech Social Science Data Archive (CSDA) into international consortia that unite social science data archives across Europe. The conference speakers also delved into overarching concepts such as open science, FAIR data principles, participation in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), and engagement with the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).
During the session, Jan Hrušák from the J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences delivered a presentation as the national delegate of the ESFR. He highlighted the significance of research infrastructures, describing them not only as data providers but also as strategic investments crucial for addressing pressing societal challenges. Hrušák emphasized: “The social sciences and humanities play an increasingly vital role in studying societies across Europe,” highlighting the role of the EOSC initiative. This initiative seeks to foster connectivity among existing scientific communities and establish a framework for the storing and sharing scientific data.
The conference celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Czech Social Science Archive drew the participation of experts crossing various scientific domains. Their insightful contributions underscored the importance of social sciences in comprehending and advancing the development of our dynamically evolving society. Also, the experts underlined the imperative of fostering international collaboration as an essential avenue for navigating a swiftly transforming global landscape. Moreover, they consistently emphasized the significance of embracing the principles of open science, portraying them not as barriers but rather as support that empower research endeavours.
In 1998, Jindřich Krejčí, the current Director of the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, pioneered the establishment of the first public social science data archive. His vision centred around institutional archiving, curation, and effective management of sociological data within the Czech Republic. Over time, the archive seamlessly integrated into the international data-sharing landscape by becoming a proud member of the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). Since 2010, the Czech Social Science Data Archive (CSDA) has firmly established its presence on the national map of significant research infrastructures, a crucial factor for securing funding.
With a catalogue containing 1100 datasets and 4860 registered users, CSDA is a cornerstone for social science data accessibility and research. Continuously expanding its portfolio, the archive is proactively participating in educational workshops focused on enhancing knowledge in social science data management and governance. The multifaceted efforts of CSDA reflect its commitment not only to preserving valuable datasets but also to fostering a culture of education and collaboration in the realm of social science research.