Continuing access to the UK’s most valuable collection of social and economic data has been secured with a £17 million investment over five years for the UK Data Service. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) the new service which will start on the 1st October 2012 is structured to support researchers in academia, business, third sector and all levels of government.
The new service will provide a unified point of access to the extensive range of high quality economic and social data, including valuable census data. It is designed to provide seamless access and support to meet the current and future research demands of both academic and non-academic users, and to help them maximise the impact of their work.
The UK Data Service will:
- Act as a trusted national digital repository for a wide range of data providers and users
- Provide a single point of access and support to a broad range of high-quality economic and social research data
- Provide controlled access to sensitive and/or disclosive data through secure settings
- Raise the awareness of the data held by the UK Data Service amongst those who are not yet using the service, especially among those in business, third sector and at all levels of government
- Extend use of its data holdings to the widest possible academic, policy and practitioner communities for generating greater impact
- Develop and promote common standards and agreed strategies for data preparation, processing, documentation and preservation to promote data sharing and re-use
- Help the social science community to develop the skills necessary to use the data available
- Work with a wide range of stakeholders in the UK and overseas, including data suppliers, data funders and users, institutional repositories and Doctoral Training Centres
The UK Data Service will be created from the integration of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), the Census Programme, the Secure Data Service and other elements of the data service infrastructure currently provided by the ESRC. The integration follows an economic evaluation of ESDS, which reveals that for every pound currently invested in data and infrastructure, the service returns £5.40 in net economic value to users and other stakeholders. This compares favourably with the return on investment previously demonstrated for the British Library and for UK academic libraries in general.
Read the Complete Announcement