02 September 2011

New report hails UK Data Archive's flagship service as a success

Data centres such as the Essex-based Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) are a "success story" for their users, according to a new study assessing the value of UK data centres.

Eight UK data centres were included in the study Data centres: their use, value and impact, commissioned by the Research Information Network and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).

The findings suggest that data centres are important both for new research and for reference purposes. The support the centres offer in the use of data sets is "highly valued by researchers" but they will need to improve services when it comes to interdisciplinary work, concludes the report.

"This is a hugely positive report which validates much of what we've been seeing as the ESDS has developed over the past eight years," said Matthew Woollard, Director of ESDS and the UK Data Archive. "The report provides more concrete examples of how data serviced by the ESDS has impacted on social and economic policy. The strategic implications point to the benefits of retaining long-term investment in this type of service."

The Economic and Social Data Service, jointly funded by the ESRC and JISC, acquires, curates and provides access to the UK’s largest collection of social and economic data. It is a distributed service, based on a collaboration between the UK Data Archive and the Institute for Social and Economic Research in partnership with MIMAS and the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (University of Manchester).

You can read the complete report online. To learn more, see: www.esds.ac.uk/news.

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