NACDA's mission is to contribute to the intellectual vitality of the gerontological sciences. We accomplish this through the activities of the project staff under the guidance of established researchers who lead the project team, and a growing body of NACDA Research Affiliates drawn from the broader research community guiding NACDA acquisition goals. NACDA intends to accomplish four specific aims over the next five-year project period: 1) First, NACDA will acquire and preserve datasets of scientific importance to the gerontological research community especially in the areas of longitudinal data, international data, data on minority aging, historical data, and data that are otherwise not readily available. This will require a focused effort to encourage researchers to share and archive their data for use by the wider scientific community. NACDA's activities in training, and the provision of resources and tools have nurtured the culture of data sharing and archiving within the social science community and facilitated its growth. 2) Second, NACDA will distribute data and documentation to researchers in a form that will facilitate their use, and will do so in an efficient and cost-effective manner. This will involve the creation of data and documentation products that can be used more easily than the versions created by the original data producer and continued leadership in the use of new modes of data storage and transmission. New technologies and presentation strategies such as our online bibliography, variable level search capacity, and ongoing of Web enhancements will significantly improve the vitality of our data in the coming years. 3) Third, NACDA will provide support and assistance to NIA-funded researchers who are producing data, in order to facilitate their data sharing activities and the long-term preservation of the priceless. NACDA will continue to be an active participant in the research process, particularly in the realm of developing tools, training and support for the preparation of data for secondary users. During the next five years we will enhance these services to make the process easier, and will implement innovative solutions that recognize the diversity of approaches that researchers are using to share their data. 4) Fourth, NACDA will provide user support and technical services to facilitate secondary data analysis in gerontology. As an aspect of this goal, we see the integration of search and analysis tools within our Web site as enhancing the ability of researchers to utilize the array of data contained in the archive. As part of this specific aim, NACDA will retrofit its existing collection to make available ready to use system files for popular analysis software packages.
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