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Introduction

The origin of SASD is connected with the year 2004. It was built within the frame of a state project of science and research "Social Data Archive and its Use in Cross-national Comparative Research" (enunciator - The Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS), project number: 2003 SP 51/028 09 00/028 09 07).
The establishment and servicing of the SASD was defined for the period from December 2003 until December 2005. Miroslav Tížik was acting as the head of the establishing team and Ján Bunčák, Martina Bausová and Roman Džambazovič as co-workers.
Institutionally, SASD originated at the Department of Sociology on the Faculty of Philosophy of the Comenius University in Bratislava, in cooperation with the Slovak Academy of Sciences. The Slovak Archive of Social Data archive arose out of the need to build a methodology of systematization, data processing together with documentation from empirical social research in electronic and printed form according to international standards. During the nineties, many researches was conducted in Slovakia, of which number, contents and focus we have no satisfactory overview. The services of SASD are intended for the non-commercial use of the general public, for the needs of socioscientific research, for journalists, and for governmental and non-governmental institutes. Hence the aim is not only archiving, but also an increase in the quality of public level information about life and changes within Slovak society. At the same time, the data archive is also intended for the commercial and other research agencies and institutions as a basis of communication with the public through the publication of their research according to the SASD conditions.

Contemporary and long-term goals of SASD
  • to archive empirical data and documentation from accessible sociological research performed in Slovakia in electronic and printed form (ISSP data: National Identity 2003 and Citizenship 2004 form the basis of data archive)
  • to create a data source for the requirements of secondary analysis in the field of sociological research and teaching on all types of university education
  • to offer and make archive data and data in general accessible for the needs of scientific research, non-commercial subjects and individuals in electronic and printed form
  • to increase the efficiency of work with the results of sociological research and as a result reduce the expenditure on research and for a standardization research procedures shorten the time of research execution
  • to safeguard the protection of data and documentation against loss and corruption by means of electronic and printed form archiving
  • to support the work with new technologies (PC, Internet, specialized software) in social sciences
  • adaption of working methods and infrastructure for standards common in USA and in western Europe
  • to enable the full participation of Slovakia in international sociological research
  • to entrench in Slovakia the DDI (Data Documentation Initiative) standard of electronic research data archiving , which is compatible with world archives
  • to create a technical and infrastructural basis for the foundation of national data services centre, which could become a member of CESSDA (Council of European Social Science Data Archives), EDAN (East European Archives Network) and other associations enabling the access to social data also of other countries
  • to publish and make accessible the basic data from sociological research realised in Slovakia or in Czechoslovakia since 1967

Research support

The ambitions of Slovak academic workplaces and the efforts of universities are to develop not only educational but also scientific and research activities. The partaking of an international research requires apart from standard methods of data processing also standard archived research documentation and continuity in execution of regular research findings. The participation in international research guarantees the access to comparable data from other countries, which allows the comparison of conditions and the development of the Slovak society. This at the same time demands the exercise of international standards on research, data collection and data archiving including technological compatibility of data archives. The existence of a social data archive creates also wider possibilities for the processing of quality diploma works and dissertations from the field of social and humanistic sciences throughout all of Slovakia. The openness and accessibility of collected data supports the increase in the level of information of the public about the conditions in Slovak society and ensures public control over research quality and data interpretation of social phenomena. Last but not least it sustains the public discussion on tendencies and development possibilities of social research in Slovakia.

Possibilities of research support

  • Archiving of research data and of methodological research characteristics
  • Collection of contextual information (on important events in the time of research execution and their possible influence on the collected data), which help at the interpretation of the results
  • The possibility to execute analytical services to the selected questions of social life
  • The information source search and the providing of information services in the area of national and international representative sociological research
  • Education in statistical data analysis and in the employing of information technology and computer-assisted techniques in sociological research

Openness of social data to the public

Archive data and basic chart outputs are easy to access, the operation is adapted to user possibilities, so to the students, journalists and also to the public, which has no particular training on the operation of statistical programmes. Online access to selected data is available for the needs of non-commercial and scientific research. All data is accessible for free. Data is distributed in the SPSS format, the documentation in format DDI.

Data is divided into categories according to the extent of accessibility on the basis of restrictions put upon them by author rights owners or data depositor. (See Data Access Form)

Archiving format DDI (Data Documentation Initiative)

NESSTAR catalogue is an instrument based on DDI standard and the access for the CESSDA members is free of charge. DDI documentation standard together with the DTD standard enable to convert electronic coders of data files into all-purpose format XML. The standardization of procedures is in accordance with projects of larger archives, which create instruments offering user friendly services.

  (c) Slovak Archive of Social Data, 2004 - 2012