Joining The Partnership

Data-PASS welcomes new partners who are interested in preserving social science research through participation in: (a) our shared catalog, (b) our replication efforts to ensure preservation of digital materials, and (c) other opportunities for collaboration.

Please contact us for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the benefits of joining Data-PASS?

    Organizations join the Data-PASS partnership for several reasons. Membership in Data-PASS helps insure against preservation loss. Data-PASS safeguards the collections of its members through transfer protocols, succession planning, and live replication of collections. If a member organization requires off-site replication of its collections, the partnership will provide it. And if a member organization is no longer institutionally capable of preserving and disseminating a collection, the collection can be preserved and disseminated through the partnership.

    Furthermore, membership in Data-PASS increases the visibility of member organizations and their collections. The Data-PASS partnership provides a unified catalog of all collections held by the partners. This makes collections easier to discover, and provides opportunities to build "virtual" collections that are more complete and comprehensive.

    Moreover, membership in Data-PASS offers many opportunities to collaborate and improve archival practice. Data-PASS is a founding member of the Library of Congress sponsored National Digital Stewardship Alliance, and is dedicated to advancing preservation practice. Members combine their substantial experience to develop best practices, write publications, identify future preservation risks, and create tools -- often seeking joint sponsorship from external funders.

  2. How is Data-PASS funded? Is it sustainable?

    To support the partnership objectives, we contribute in-kind personnel time, and computing resources. There are no membership fees. Partners also collaborate on grant proposals or other fundraising efforts to cover the costs of developing new tools and conducting research.

    The partnership is designed to last. Partners agree to institutional succession plans and transfer protocols in case individual members can no longer retain the materials they acquire. Long-term preservation of data collections is a core feature within the replication network, which allows for fluctuations in the number and technological capabilities of partners.

    Economically, by working with in-kind contributions of time and resources, and by calibrating contributions with the size of the partner organization, both costs and overhead are kept low. Moreover, Data-PASS activities directly improve the preservation and access of member collections, which makes contributing to these Data-PASS projects easy to justify.

  3. Do I need to run particular software to join the partnership?

    No. Although many partners choose to use the open source Dataverse Network to manage their content, and the partners are developing their own SAFE-Archive system to manage replication and to audit distributed replication of content, partners are not required to install this software. The only technical requirements are that content be made available to Data-PASS network harvesters using some standard protocols and formats (DDI 2.0, OAI-PMH, HTTP).

  4. Do I need to give up ownership of my collections to join Data-PASS?

    No. Each Data-PASS member retains full ownership of its content, and licenses Data-PASS to harvest it for inclusion in the catalog and preservation system.

  5. What is the easiest way to have Data-PASS include my content in the catalog and preservation system?

    Many people find that creating a virtual archive (dataverse) using the IQSS Dataverse Network is an easy way to manage and distribute their collections. The dataverse system automatically provides all of the technical protocols necessary to participate in Data-PASS.

    Alternatively, there are many other tools that support the OAI-PMH protocol that Data-PASS uses. All this requires is to export your catalog with one of these tools, using either DDI 2.0 (preferred) or Dublin Core (metadata), along with URLs that link to the content to be preserved. If you have trouble, contact us.

  6. What are the requirements for joining Data-PASS?

    Data-PASS partners are required to do three things: Agree to the membership agreement, which gives the partnership the licenses necessary to expose a member's content through the catalog, and to replicate it for preservation. Second, the member needs to expose their content to trusted Data-PASS harvesting systems. Finally, the member should participate in regular virtual meetings.

    It's simple to join. Review the requirements above, then contact us.