Last week, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for the UK announced that it would invest £17 million over five years in creating a new national digital repository for social and economic data. This UK Data Service will be launched in October 2012 and aims to provide a single point of access to data for academic and non-academic researchers. According to Professor Paul Boyle, the ESRC’s Chief Executive, “As data are the lifeblood of research, our aim is to … become a cornerstone for UK research; the place to go for high quality data and support.”
This is a long-awaited and welcome initiative which will integrate the various data strands that are currently supported by the ESRC and bring together existing data created by research organisations, including HEIs, for archiving. The end product will result in a distributed data service which will make the data more accessible, enable its’ re-use, increase impact and reduce overall research costs and time. In this respect, the ESRC is working with academic staff from UK universities.
Details on the new national digital repository, UK Data Service, are available on the ESRC website.