UK Data Service releases its Annual Report 2016/17

The April 2016 to March 2017 UK Data Service Annual Report is now available with a fresh new look and feel.

In the year covered by the report, the UK Data Service was instrumental in supporting researchers to create shareable and reusable data. In collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the UK Data Service was awarded a Wellcome Trust grant to investigate ways to encourage sharing and reuse by examining current attitudes and practices of researchers to open science. To understand issues researchers face when working with challenging data, experiences from researchers who have deposited data with the UK Data Service were collected in to a series of 'depositor stories' as guidance for other researchers.

In 2016, the UK Data Service welcomed its first Data Impact Fellows, a programme which aims to provide career development for early career researchers who use data from the UK Data Service in their work with a focus on impact. The first Undergraduate Dissertation Prize was also launched, which recognises and rewards undergraduate students who demonstrated flair and originality in using quantitative data available through the UK Data Service for their dissertations.

New support and resources for teachers and students have also been developed and the UK Data Service Quiz App, putting social facts into context for young people, was launched. Collaborative training involved the UK Data Service working with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as well as international partners such as CESSDA ERIC, the new Indian Social Science Data Archive and researchers in South Africa working with big data. The Secure Lab was used to support impactful research and staff at the UK Data Service continued to take part in the working group Safe Data Access Professionals to promote best practice.

2016/17 was also a time for the UK Data Service to respond to changes in the national data landscape with involvement in the consultation on data sharing (prior to the Digital Economy Bill), the Concordat Working Group on Open Research and the data and statistical disclosure review of ONS Special Licence Scheme.

The second #DataImpact event was organised, which focused on identifying data solvable challenges and exploring data re-use in policy and research. Two open Data Dives were held to work with data in a creative way.

On the technology front, ground-breaking data was made openly available via UKDS.Stat with the inclusion of the Human Rights Atlas and UNESCO data. The infrastructure for the UK Data Service big data platform was also developed, which enables seamless safe access by linking data on physical servers and cloud-based data storage.

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