Open Elite Data Project


Réquérants principale: Felix Bühlmann
Equipe: Anne-Sophie Delval (Chargé de projet), Steven Piguet (Informaticien), Glen Lomax (Informaticien)

Durée du projet : 2023 - 2024

The « Swiss Elite Observatory » (OBELIS) has developed an internationally unique social science database, which has collected extensive information on over 35’000 members of political, economic, cultural and academic elites from 1890 to 2020. It includes data on social origins, education, career, military rankings, positions in committees and associations, prizes and family relationships of Swiss elites. It is connected to other national and international data platforms (Dodis, Swiss historical dictionary, and serves as the basis of a large, international and diverse number of research endeavours. In average, the Swiss Elites database is visited by 1300 individual users per week and is also part of a large “citizen science” project. The objective of this proposal is to: 1) adopt the existing database and to render it fully compatible with the FAIR and open data principles. 2) enlarge and strengthen the scientific communities studying elites with an active and outreaching community management and the organization of regular ORD training offers (summerschool, course modules, etc.) 3) roll out to and merge its data architecture with a wider project, the World Elite Database (WED), the leading international database on elites and the super-rich. Through this project we will set the standards for ODR data management and ODR data use in large prosopographical social science databases. It will allow a large international research community to understand the political, economic and environmental challenges by studying elites, their decisions and their influence and become a critical resource for many journalistic initiatives and non-gouvernmental organizations.


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