LiDA was established in 2006 by Policy and Public Administration Institute at Kaunas University of Technology in partnership with Vilnius University, Institute for Social Research, the Republic of Lithuania Ministry of Education and Science. LiDA is a social science data service allowing to search, browse, analyse and download social science survey data. LiDA catalogues contain social survey data, historical statistics and data about Lithuanian political system. LiDA services also are available through catalogue of Lithuanian Virtual Library (LVB). All metadata are bilingually documented in English and Lithuanian. LiDA is a national member of ICPSR and conducts European Social Survey and International Social Survey Programme in Lithuania.
LiDA is responsible for:
acquisition and dissemination of national and international data sets;
data access to international data archives;
national and international data analysis training;
publication of data analysis teaching materials;
coordination of international survey projects in Lithuania.
In March 2008 - LiDA has joined the European Social Survey.
In January 2009 - LiDA was included into the European Portal on Research Infrastructures Database http://www.riportal.eu.
In 2010 - LiDA has joined the International Social Survey Programme.
In 2011 - LiDA has been recognized as a national research infrastructure and was included into the Roadmap for Research Infrastructures of Lithuania.
In April 2012 - LiDA has become a member of the Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA).
Data archiving is based on the NESSTAR system and FEDORA repository.
Data sets in the catalogues of LiDA are documented according to DDI (1.2) metadata standard. Study description is documented bilingually, in English and Lithuanian. Basically, all the CESSDA recommended fields of DDI are filled out.
The whole IT infrastructure of LiDA was built with the basic aim to be highly interoperable. Therefore, each data set has its unique PID which is constructed to reflect the main attributes of the data set (see for example, www.lidata.eu/data/quant/LIDA_ESS_0240). All the files of the data set can be accessed following the standardized rules. For example, data in SPSS format can be accessed by adding 'SPSS.SAV' to the PID and DDI file – by adding 'DDI'. So external users or other infrastructures can easily access data and metadata stored in LiDA catalogues.
Metadata (DDI, DC and MARC21) of all data sets are also exposed via OAI-PMH protocol (see for example, http://www.lidata.eu/oaiprovider/?verb=ListRecords&from=2000-01-01&set=quant&metadataPrefix=oai_ddi).
For online data analysis mainly NESSTAR infrastructure is used. However, some more advanced features of data display (related to historical data tables) are implemented locally (see for example, http://www.lidata.eu/index_histat_graph.php?id=LiDA_HISTAGRX_0001&col=histat&dsid=TAB.01.001&ts=1).
In 2011 LiDA was evaluated by the National Research Council and has been recognized as an important national research infrastructure and was included into the Roadmap for Research Infrastructures of Lithuania.
Unless otherwise specified, the empirical research data stored in LiDA catalogues are available without restrictions for the registered users for non-profit purposes (such as research, self-education and training). Individuals and organizations willing to use the data for other purposes must make a written request to get the access to specific data. Also, some data is of restricted usage due to confidentiality reasons. Regardless of access restrictions to data files all the metadata are freely available without restrictions.
Users of LiDA data also have to sign confidentiality declaration. In the declaration users are obliged to keep the confidentiality of any information they get access to that can identify individuals.
The above described IT infrastructure (see point 1) allows all the users around the world to access the data and metadata stored in the LiDA catalogues. The data are also documented in English, which makes the data sets potentially interesting for the international community. Moreover, LiDA is a member of CESSDA and belongs to common infrastructure of European data archives. CESSDA has an integrated data catalogue where all the metadata from its member institutions can be searched and retrieved.
LiDA has a single entry point through its main data portal www.lidata.eu, which is also available in English at www.lidata.eu/en. NESSTAR data catalogue (containing all the archived data) can be accessed at www.lidata.eu/webviewfrom the front page of the portal.
The LiDA portal has clear terms and instructions of data use. They are available both in English and Lithuanian (can also be accessed from the front page of the main portal). All the information on how to search (see for example, http://www.lidata.eu/en/index.php?file=files/eng/data/help_search_data.html), use or analyse data online is available in English, too.
LiDA has set clear rules of data acquisition and management. Researchers willing to deposit their data are provided with the rules of data deposit. They require to provide all the essential information about the study and the data being deposited according to the CESSDA recommended fields of DDI. This ensures that all the most important metadata fields are included and published into DDI format.
After being accepted for publishing, data is cleaned at the archive in cooperation with the researchers who are depositing data. The changes made to the data are clearly documented (as human readable SPSS syntax files) and deposited with the data (see for example, www.lidata.eu/data/quant/LiDA_LVP_0255/SPSS.SPS).
LiDA is a digital research infrastructure. It was established in June 2006 and its first phase of development was funded from EU Structural funds. Second phase of the LiDA development was funded by the Ministry of Education and Science and EU Structural funds. Currently, LiDA is in a process of joining CESSDA-ERIC as a full member and will be funded as a service provider for CESSDA-ERIC from the national budget.