Epistemological and cultural differences in SSH within Europe - including divergences on the value of data-driven research itself - have impeded a level of data sharing culture equivalent to levels found in other areas of research, such as life sciences. The COVID-19 crisis represents an unprecedented opportunity to boost a dynamic of data sharing in the SSH in Europe. The proposed data portal is a research coordination device conceived as a public good to support social science research which analyses the consequences of the pandemic and the related policy responses.
The portal is conceived as a subject-oriented integrated platform on COVID-19-related datasets in the Social Sciences and the Humanities. It will be open to researchers across and beyond Europe working on COVID-19, expanding collective access to datasets, reducing potential duplication of effort and increasing the visibility of data that is being compiled
The COVID-19 SSH Data Portal is intended to aggregate information, in the form of rich metadata description, about past, current and future datasets produced by the SSH research communities and provide in a first instance basic services like unified search and discovery, thematic browsing, and direct links to the repository landing pages where datasets can be accessed and/or downloaded.
One of the key services that the project intends to develop is the ability to merge datasets from several sources; in keeping with the open-access nature of the portal, both the original data and the source code for the programmes that carry out the merger would be available for download so that researchers can inspect the algorithm used for the merger and make modifications if desired.
Partnerships are sought to establish collaborations with relevant organisations and initiatives in Europe and beyond.