Social Science Japan Data Archive

The University of Tokyo, the Institute of Social Science, and the Center for Social Research and Data Archives (CSRDA) conceived the Social Science Japan Data Archive (SSJDA) to support empirical research in social sciences in the country. It has been disseminating raw data since April 1998, with over 2,000 datasets put in the public domain so far.

 To strengthen the infrastructure for academic research in Japan and promote new academic research, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology created a network of hubs for shared use and cooperative research. In 2010, CSRDA became a hub in this network. Through active research, CSRDA aims to play a leading role in the development of empirical social science research in Japan, and build a network of social surveys and data archives. In October 2018, CSRDA was authorized by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science as a core institution for constructing data infrastructure for the humanities and social science streams.

 In addition to contributing to maintaining and improving the quality of social surveys in Japan, CSRDA has been engaging in a variety of efforts aimed at the internationalization of data archives, including joining the International Federation of Data Organizations (IFDO) and administering the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). With the Japanese National Membership Association as its hub organization, it has been sponsoring international workshops and seminars, and cooperating in international comparative surveys in East Asia.

 In September 1999, the Japanese members of ICPSR established the ICSPR Japanese National Membership Association in order to enable the use of the archived data more efficiently, and selected this center as the hub organization.

 Cooperation with data archives in East Asian countries enables information sharing on the preservation and dissemination of social science data and its increased mutual use. In March 2008, the center hosted a symposium titled “Data Archives and their Prospects in East Asia: Collaborative Data Collection, Dissemination, and Data Sharing.” The goal of the symposium was to share information on current data collection activities and data archives for social sciences in East Asia. Researchers who have expertise in these areas from China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany were invited to report on the current status of data collection, management, and usage in their respective countries and regions. In 2016, Japan (SSJDA), Korea (KOSSDA), Taiwan (SRDA), and China (CNSDA) established the Network of East Asia Social Science and Data Archives (NASSDA), with each nation cooperating to hold regular international conferences.

 As part of the process of globalization, information sharing, and building a common research base of data archives, CSRDA is proceeding with the introduction of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI), which represents the international standard of social research metadata. In October 2005, the online analysis system commenced operations. Since the second half of fiscal year 2009, CSRDA has conducted the trial installation of an online data publishing and analysis system that is compatible with DDI. In fiscal year 2012, access to the trial operation of Nesstar, the main system in Europe, was enabled. CSRDA is also moving forward with the design and development of the Easy DDI Organizer (EDO), which is a metadata management software for performing metadata management and the editing required to preserve the data in Japanese.

 We will continue to strive to increase the volume of data available through SSJDA and improve our service.