The Italian Archive

DASSI is the national service provider for the European infrastructure CESSDA ERIC (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives). It was founded in 2021 through a Joint Research Unit between the University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB) and the National Research Council (CNR) and has been online since 2023.

DASSI consists of two integrated operational units:

  • Data Curation, coordinated by UNIMIB, which handles all research data acquisition and management activities.
  • e-Research Infrastructure, coordinated by CNR, which oversees preservation, access, and dissemination activities for research data, managing services, both created and developed.

Activities promoted within DASSI also include training and awareness initiatives aimed at improving the quality throughout the whole data life-cycle, and building a data culture based on FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable), making data more open and inclusive.

Who we address

The primary Designated Community of DASSI consists of researchers working in the social sciences (both academic and non-academic). However, DASSI is also aimed at students, teachers, educators, politicians, media representatives, journalists, ordinary citizens, or anyone interested in using archived data. The distributed data is always accompanied by detailed contextual documentation to ensure understandability within the target community.

What we do and how

  • We promote the accessibility of research data to facilitate the replicability and validation of published research.
  • We make the collected data available for consultation through an online catalogue, which also feeds into the European catalogue managed by CESSDA.
  • We pay special attention to data documentation, including information about the research context, structure, and processes. Research data is accompanied by metadata (information about the data that enables understanding and reusability) adhering to the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) standard and compiled using controlled vocabularies to ensure high interoperability.
  • We assign a persistent identifier (DOI) to all data to ensure long-term traceability.
  • We ensure long-term preservation, quality, and documentation of distributed data by adhering to the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) model.
  • We manage relationships with data providers and users who request data usage, providing them with adequate support.
  • We raise awareness about data sharing and actual reuse of research data to foster new scientific knowledge and human, economic, and social progress.
  • We promote responsible data deposition while safeguarding personal data and intellectual property.
  • We encourage good practices in research data management and sharing, including through training activities. We apply FAIR principles and boost the adoption of usage licences, open formats, and open-source software.
  • We enhance the visibility and dissemination of deposited data by enabling automatic metadata harvesting by other metadata systems.