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Ottawa, December 20, 2001 - The National Archives of Canada, in partnership with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, is working to create a national research data preservation and access system which would acquire and make accessible various research data.

In October 2000, the two organizations launched a national consultation on archiving and accessing Canadian research data. As part of the consultation process, in June 2001, a Working Group of researchers, archivists and university librarians completed the "Phase One: Needs Assessment Report." A copy of the report is available from the National Research Data Archive Consultation Working Group Web site at:


Unlike many other countries, Canada does not have a national research data archive. The Working Group found that many researchers do not archive their data, and that those who do, rely either on a limited number of overworked and underfunded university data services, or on data archives abroad. Many data files are underused, particularly those created by government organizations. Consequently, researchers cannot easily verify published research findings, or use previously collected data as a basis for future research projects, both of which are important elements of social science research.

Status of the National Research Data Archive

The second phase in the consultation process is underway. Current issues include identifying funding sources and defining working relationships between this new data archive system and existing organizations such as the National Archives and the National Library. The Working Group will also raise awareness in the research community of this new system and how it can help researchers in their work.

Knowledge and information generated from research represents one of a nation's most valuable resources. The ability to preserve and access this wealth of knowledge is crucial to the exploration and understanding of ourselves, our society and our world.

Researchers are encouraged to submit their comments on the report and to provide input during the second phase of the consultation process by visiting the Working Group's Web site or by writing to the project administrator at the address below. We will be accepting your comments, opinions, suggestions and analyses until January 1, 2002.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. David Moorman,
National Research Data Archive Consultation
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
350 Albert Street
P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6G4
Telephone: (613) 943-5090