The Social Science Data Archives


Principal Investigator

Paul Flora

Research School of Social Sciences

The Social Science Data Archives (SSDA) is responsible for collecting and preserving
computer-readable data relating to social, political and economic affairs and to make the data available for further analysis. Data sets resulting from research by academic, government and private organisations and individuals have been deposited in the Archives, and further deposits are actively sought. In this way the results of research, costly in both financial and human terms, are preserved for future use, rather than lost or destroyed.

Due to the sheer size this data the storage methods used need to have large capacity along with long term reliability. The MDSS possesses both of these properties. Some of the data that the SSDA holds is in fact the only copy in machine-readable form in the world, so 2-3 copies of all of our data is kept. For our very large datasets (which includes most of the Australian Census data) a copy is kept on DAT tape and another on the MDSS. Without the MDSS, we would have to look for an alternative place to store much of our data. This would be difficult to find, and would make it extremely difficult for us to continue with our almost 0% loss rate of stored data.





- Appendix A