Use and Impact of UK Research Data Centres

Ellen Collins


UK data centres are an important part of efforts to gain maximum value from research data. However, if they are to operate effectively, the services that they provide must be based upon an understanding of researchers' practices and needs. Furthermore, in order to build a case for ongoing funding, data centres must be able to demonstrate their value to researchers work and, increasingly, their contribution to wider political "impact" agendas. This paper presents the findings of a survey of users of five UK data centres. It suggests that research data centres are highly valued by their users. Benefits appear to be particularly strong around improving research efficiency, especially access to data. Data centres are less important in terms of stimulating novel research questions. Despite a few interesting cases of observable impact, in the main it remains difficult to understand the wider reach of research which draws upon data centre resources.

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The International Journal of Digital Curation. ISSN: 1746-8256
The IJDC is published by the University of Edinburgh
and is a publication of the Digital Curation Centre.