Making the case for the UK Data Archive

Article dated: 22 March 2010

The UK Data Archive is launching a new suite of web pages over the summer called 'Our data in use', and is seeking contributions from its users. Specifically, users are asked to offer case studies of how they have used data obtained from the Archive.

Telling stories of how data have been used for a piece of research or in teaching or supervision not only provides great insight for new and potential users of data, but also helps researchers begin to think about how to demonstrate impact and value. The Academy of Social Sciences has recently brought out an impressive brochure entitled Making the Case for the Social Sciences which uses promotion of key research and lay summaries to educate the policy community. The Academy stresses the need for showcasing evidence-based research outcomes in a more informative and accessible way for policy makers — and using case studies is one way of doing it.

case studies

ESDS already presents a limited number of case studies of re-use, but this is usually a result of asking for information, rather than spontaneous offerings. The UK Data Archive welcomes case studies relating to the use of any data collection currently listed in the Data. The case study can relate to work in progress or completed research.

Contributions should be 200-250 words long and cover: the title of the data used; a brief description of the data; how the data were used; and a paragraph about the submitter. Authors whose case studies appear on the UK Data Archive web site will receive an Amazon voucher. Later in the year the Archive will award a prize for the best case study, which will become an annual event. In addition to the prize, the winner will be invited to speak at a workshop and be encouraged to submit a more in-depth article for publication.

Enquiries or submissions