Work streams

ODISSEI (Open Data Infrastructure for Social Science and Economic Innovations) consists of four integrated work streams used to accelerate development of computational social science in the Netherlands:

  • Data Facility – Accessing, linking, and analysing sensitive data in a safe, secure, and ethical manner.
  • Observatory – Sustaining and optimising valuable, long-standing data collections
  • Laboratory – Opening up new avenues of inquiry by exploiting innovative digital technologies
  • Hub – Acquiring skills and approaches for more complex and comprehensive modelling of social phenomena


Currently, social scientists are too often constrained in the questions they can answer, not by the limitations of their thinking but by the fragmented data landscape that clusters disciplinary data in distinct silos, the lack of sustained and coordinated investment in longitudinal studies, and the under use of research opportunities offered by the digital age. For societies to gain resilience in the face of the enormous challenges they face, social scientists need linked data that bridge disciplinary fields, levels of analysis and historical time, and the tools, resources and expertise necessary to analyse them. To create a better society, there is a need for better social science, and this requires a better data infrastructure:

Better Infrastructure – Better Science – Better Society

From 2018-2020, the entire social science community in the Netherlands has united in an unprecedented level of financial, technical, and political support for a shared research infrastructure: ODISSEI. This momentum and initiative is now been supported, exploited, and extended, so that ODISSEI can facilitate a new generation of social science and avoid missing the research potential unleashed by the digital age. The Dutch social science community is committed to carrying ODISSEI into the future. This proposal seeks to transition ODISSEI from a fledgling collaboration into a truly national infrastructure that facilitates ground-breaking social science research at scale.


ODISSEI is financed by member organisations‘ contributions and a Dutch Research Council (NWO) Roadmap grant (May 2020).


The following 14 member organisations execute the project:

  1. CentERdata
  2. Data Archiving and Networked Setvices (DANS)
  3. Erasmus University Rotterdam, School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB)
  4. International Institute of Social History (IISH)
  5. Leiden University, Leiden Law School (LLS)
  6. Maastricht University, Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE)
  7. Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC)
  8. Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
  9. Statistics Netherlands (CBS)
  10. SURF
  11. University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
  12. Utrecht University, Faculty of Social Sciences
  13. VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
  14. VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Science