Information technology offers social scientists enhanced possibilities in the areas of production, analysis and management of social data. Its utilization in social research has altered, significantly, the research infrastructures within the social sciences and rendered it especially important for empirical research. However, the development of research infrastructures for the social sciences is constrained by the methodological and theoretical limitations imposed by this field. Research infrastructures are defined as integrated environments developed and utilized by scientific networks aiming at the methodologically controlled production, analysis and management of large scale social data. One of the most important initiatives regarding the development of RIs in the area of social sciences is CESSDA (Council of European Social Science Data Archives).

The outcome of these initiatives in Greece was the creation of the Social Data Bank at the National Centre for Social Research, which is today an important research infrastructure in the area of social sciences and a member of CESSDA since 2000. The objective of this project is to study and appraise the possibility and feasibility as well as the prerequisites for the country’s participation in the upgrading of the Research Infrastructure of the Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). The subject of this project is the elaboration of a feasibility study, as well as the development of a strategy for the redesign and utilization of the European Infrastructure at the national level. The feasibility study includes the design of a National Documentation System for Social Sciences that is constituted by a central node and local nodes of the 7 partners. The data provided by the local nodes to the Greek Central Node will be quantitative surveys, aggregate quantitative data or tabular data, qualitative data and even secondary data and indicators. In addition, the feasibility study of the Greek Research Infrastructure comprises of a study on the institutional framework for its operation, as well as a cost analysis study.

The project has been funded by the OP “Competitiveness & Entrepreneurship II” Duration: 20/01/2010 – 30/11/2010. Coordinator: University of the Aegean - Department of Sociology, Partners: National Centre for Social Research-SDB, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens – Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Democritus University of Thrace – Department of Social Administration and Political Science, Panteion University – Department of Political Science and History, University of Peloponnese – Department of Social and Educational Policy, University of Crete – Department of Sociology