Overview of the Project

The Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS) is a voluntary partnership of organizations created to archive, catalog and preserve data used for social science research. Examples of social science data include: opinion polls; voting records; surveys on family growth and income; social network data; government statistics and indices; and GIS data measuring human activity.

A National Digital Stewardship Alliance Founding Member, the Data-PASS partnership works to:


Data-PASS came into existence in 2004 with funding from the Library of Congress' National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) and cost-share contributions from all partner institutions. The initial project was three years and was refunded and extended up through 2010. The goal of the initial project was to create a sustainable partnership model for preserving "at risk" social science data. Currently, the partnership supports itself with (1) research grants for research and development and (2) small amount of support from the partner organizations for leadership, operation and maintenance activities.

Data-PASS has been highly productive since its beginning in 2004 -- drafting archival standards for the partnership, cooperating on various technology solutions for strengthening preservation and access, and rescuing a fair amount of data at risk of being lost. Also, we have been presenting, publishing and grant writing together. We have established working arrangements that have enhanced our individual organizations and improved preservation and access to digital information in our holdings.

About the Partners

Members of the Data-PASS partnership include:

Organizational Structure

Steering Committee

Composed of the Principal Investigator from each of the partners, and other representatives, the Steering Committee manages the day-to-day operations of the partnership.

  • George Alter, ICPSR
  • Amy Pienta, ICPSR
  • Gary King, Harvard
  • Merce Crosas, Harvard
  • Micah Altman, MIT, Brookings Institution
  • Jon Crabtree, Odum Institute
  • Ted Hull, NARA
  • Libbie Stephenson, UCLA
  • Colin Elman, Syracuse University
  • Diana Kapiszewski, Georgetown University
  • William Block, CISER

Operations Committee

Composed of operations staff from the partnering archives, the Operations Committee focuses on the identification tasks, as well as the acquisition, standards, and common catalog tasks. It oversees technical issues and identifies potential problems and solutions that affect data selection, acquisition, and dissemination.  The Operations Committee holds monthly calls.

  • Amy Pienta, ICPSR
  • Jared Lyle, ICPSR
  • Sonia Barbosa, Harvard
  • Jon Crabtree, Odum Institute
  • Lynn Goodsell, NARA
  • Libbie Stephenson, UCLA