The purpose of this report is to describe the motivation and set up of the International Secure Data
Facility Professionals Network (ISDFPN), its aims, first steps, and future plans.
ISDFPN has been set up as part of the Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud project (SSHOC) Task
5.4 with the aim of bringing together international colleagues working in or towards Secure Data
Facilities, to share expertise and experiences, discuss relevant areas of our work, and to spark
collaboration as well as develop new ideas.
Whereas various international networks and collaborations exist, which aim to improve the
international data infrastructure and landscape, and establish connections between Secure Settings,
there is also a Forum needed for professional staff working in these Secure Data Facilities, which
provides a platform for and facilitates regular knowledge exchange. ISDFPN is not a Network to
establish remote connections between Secure Data Facilities but a Forum to share experience,
expertise, and ideas, which is not available (yet) formally somewhere else. As the fast-changing secure
data landscape evolves, this Network has been designed to be a vital resource for collaborative work
towards solutions for shared as well as newly emerging problems staff faces when working in Secure
Data Facilities. Nationally as well as internationally, these Secure Data Facilities are at different stages in
their development, which makes such a Network a good Forum for learning from one another.
The International Secure Data Facility Network held its first online meeting on 30 March 2022,
introducing the Network and its aims and objectives, discussing possible topics of interest for the
Network, and establishing whether the invited parties have an interest in joining this Network. Further,
a first topical session on Secure Data Facility staff skills and training needs was run, and a plan agreed
for its first year 2022/2023.
Even though SSHOC finishes at the end of April 2022, this Network will be taken forward in joint
collaboration between the UK Data Service and GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. So far, it
has 22 members from 13 different institutions. The next meeting will take place on 7 September 2022.