International Federation of Data Organizations

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16 July 2018 586 reads








About the International Federation of Data Organizations (IFDO)

International collaboration to promote the replicability of research findings and the sharing of research data has never been more important. For decades, IFDO – the International Federation of Data Organizations – has been at the center of these conversations in the social science community. IFDO was founded in the mid 1970’s in response to evolving research needs of the international social science community. The founders felt it would be beneficial to coordinate worldwide data services and thus enhance social science research. Through the foresight and planning of the late Stein Rokkan, IFDO became a reality in November 1977. In the decades that followed, IFDO was led by Ekkehard Mochmann, who retired as president in 2009. IFDO maintains associate memberships in the International Social Science Council of UNESCO and participates regularly in the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST). IFDO’s membership spans the globe, and it currently has 35 social science archives on its roster.

The International Federation of Data Organizations & RDA

As research communities in disciplines outside the social sciences are beginning to recognize the need for global coordination, they see the same needs that the founders of IFDO recognized years ago. To meet this growing need across the academy, organizations like Research Data Alliance (RDA) have prospered. Its mission is to build the social and technical infrastructure that would enable open sharing of data. By many measures RDA has been a success and is helping many disciplines. IFDO’s goal in RDA is to energize and amplify the voice of diverse social science archives around the globe. IFDO has much to offer emerging groups like the Research Data Alliance, and exposure within RDA would greatly enhance IFDO’s visibility around the world. RDA members would learn from the vast knowledge acquired over nearly 40 years of collaboration within IFDO, and IFDO will have a voice in this new community doing wonderful things for research data collaboration. Smaller archives around the world will have a voice in the field and enhance the discovery, sharing, and archiving of valuable social science research data. IFDO members offer wonderful application sites for products of RDA working groups


OA Member

Jonathan Crabtree, CTO/IT Director

Jonathan Crabtree's picture

Crabtree is Assistant Director for Cyberinfrastructure at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at UNC Chapel Hill. The institute’s social science data archive is one of the oldest and most extensive in the country. As assistant director, Crabtree completely revamped the institute’s technology infrastructure and has positioned the institute to assume a leading national role in information archiving. His current efforts include working on the NSF Funded ImPact project developing infrastructure for sensitive data sharing as well as an Alfred P Sloan funded effort CoRE2, to develop a journal research data verification workflow around Dataverse. He is also currently the president of the International Federation of Data Organizations (IFDO) and on the inaugural steering committee of the Global Dataverse Community Consortium (GDCC). Additionally he is a reviewer for the CoreTrustSeal Assembly of Reviewers. Crabtree’s experience in information technology and networking as well as his engineering background bring a different perspective to his current role. Crabtree joined the institute more than twenty years ago and is responsible for designing and maintaining the technology infrastructure that supports the institute’s wide array of services. Before moving to the social science side of campus he was an information systems technologist for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. His grounding in medical information technology adds to his education and training in electrical engineering, library and information science, digital preservation, computer science, economics, geographic information systems, hydrology and geomorphology. He is currently researching the perspectives on trusted digital repository audit responds as part of his Information Science dissertation work at UNC Chapel Hill.