Data without Boundaries - CROS community


The Data without Boundaries (DwB) project aims to an integrated model for accessing official data, a model where the best solutions for access are available irrespective of national boundaries and flexible enough to fit national arrangements.

Project description

While access to anonymised official microdata for researchers is still uneven both at national and at European level, access to highly detailed and sensitive microdata is now increasingly on the agenda. Different member states have substantially different outcomes for research access to Official data, and the issue is not just efficiency, but real harm to the contribution of the social sciences to democracy in an information society.

Therefore, the primary impact of this application is to prepare the essential relationships and build trust, common view and agreements on standards between the European Statistical System led by Eurostat, other stakeholders as the Central banks, the Data Archives European network (CESSDA) and the researchers who are the final users; from access as a postcode lottery, to an integrated model where the best solutions for access are available irrespective of national boundaries and are flexible enough to fit national arrangements.
It aims at:
  1. discussing frameworks and proposing pilots for a European accreditation and a distributed remote access for confidential microdata to be expanded later to other partners, both for national and European datasets;
  2. fostering discussions and promoting improvements and solutions for the entire communities through annual/bi-annual European data Forum, regional workshops, users conferences, training sessions, staff visits;
  3. preparing an easy and single point of access (What data are available? How can I access them?) for the researchers, to be linked to the CESSDA portal where NSIs metadata could be harvested when not available through the CESSDA archives still providing access to official microdata;
  4. immediately enhancing access to official data making European datasets more useable (metadata, routines) and supporting foreign researchers transnational access both on site and through remote access system to countries official microdata. 
Close coordination with the European Statistical System discussions and initiatives as well as with on-going and future related projects is developed to ensure maximum synergy and incorporation of outputs.

Project fact sheet

Work packages

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