UKDA provides input to new archives

Article dated: 30 November 2007

Recognition of the UKDA as one of the world's leading data archiving organisations has recently been illustrated by participation in exercises to establish two new national data archives.

In the last few months the UKDA Director has been invited to provide advice and input on important initiatives in both Sweden and Belgium. In the case of the former he acted as an external expert evaluator for a new archive to be funded by the Swedish Research Council. This will have responsibility for acquiring and disseminating research data not only in the area of social science but also in the humanities and epidemiology/public health domains. The new organisation will also have a close link with Statistics Sweden. As a result of a lengthy competitive tendering process a contract has now been awarded to Gothenburg University for or new service to start in January 2008.

In Belgium, as part of a wider initiative focusing on making publicly funded research data freely accessible and open the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office has commissioned a study on how a new national data archive might function and operate. This exercise used the UKDA as a model of good practice and the Director was invited to present and be a discussant at the project's concluding meeting. It is hoped that a competitive tendering process for the new national facility will be announced in 2008.