CIMES (Centralising and Integrating Metadata from European Statistics) provides an overview of official microdata made available for statistical research in Europe. This database describes access procedures, data documentation (public files, scientific files and secure files), access conditions and links to data supplier websites. CIMES does not provide access to the data; it only contains metadata. CIMES thus gathers information currently dispersed all over Europe, either in INS or data archives, and stores it in a structured database compliant with DDI.
The documentation differentiates series, studies and data sets. A series is a group of studies showing a data collection process of transversal, longitudinal, or repeated data. It illustrates a continuous data collection process by INS, where each collection is a study. The data set refers to a group of files made available. For example, the survey on active population (LFS) is a series, the data collection from 2007 is a study, and the data set is a set of available files: for example the scientific file of survey on active population (EPA –SUF-) 2007.
Each of these levels is documented by a list of fields and controlled vocabulary. Currently CIMES covers 277 series, including 1 893 studies and 2 244 data sets in 31 European countries, also supplying links to main integrated microdata in Europe.
CIMES is an FP7 DwB product aiming to increase the use of official microdata in Europe. The Web application for CIMES is developed by CASD.
ADP, CED, CNRS-Réseau Quetelet, FORS, GESIS, RODA, ONS and UL have been involved in CIMES, collecting and structuring metadata during DwB. The work is still under way, supported by CNRS and CASD.