Meet the guy whose life is Open Access and Open Data

Fiona Murphy (Wiley) recently interviewed Mark Thorley (NERC, the Natural Environment Research Council) about his work on Open Access (OA) policy and research data. as Chair of the RCUK Research Outputs Network. In his interview, he talks about his mission to remove as many barriers as possible to the outputs of the funded research – both publications and data – in order to support research as well as other exploitation uses, both commercial and non-commercial.

Continue reading Fiona Murphy’s blog reporting her interview with Mark Thorley…

Another New Home and Service for Qualitative Data

Previously, we’ve posted a pointer to the news about the launch of a new home for social science qualitative data called QDR. Today, UK Data Services introduced QualiBank.

This is the UK Data Service’s search and browse interface for qualitative data objects allowing searching of the content of text files, such as interviews, essays, open ended questions and reports. It also allows searching of metadata attached to these objects, such as a description of an image or of an audio recording, and it enables hyperlinking to related objects. A citation can be made for a whole object or interview extracts.

At present it is still in a beta version, but it contains only 5 collections that are completely open and these cover in depth interviews, some with politicians, children’s essays about ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ and WWII morale amongst the British troops and the population. Another ten or so collections which will sit behind authentication are to follow.


UK Government Report: Seizing the Data Opportunity

UK data capability strategy: seizing the data opportunity

The UK Government has recently published a new report Seizing the data opportunity, which outlines the government’s strategy for UK data capability. The report highlights the need to increase training in data analytics and data science, and announces what promises to be a landmark event next year – an Open Science Data Forum hosted by the Royal Society.

A brief summary of the report and a pointer to the full document is at:

Developing a Pilot Registry for UK Research Data

The UK Data Archive Teams up with Members of the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) for Data Curation

The UK Data Archive is teaming up with members of the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) to develop a UK-wide registry or catalogue of research data collections held in universities and data centres.

The Jisc-funded six-month pilot project follows from a rich legacy of recent work in embedding research data management and sharing in universities, to support data reuse. But in order for data sharing and secondary analysis to yield major benefits, such data need to be easily findable and accessible. This project aims to address this emerging need.

More information about this pilot is available at:

New Report on Open Data Research | Research Information Network, UK

Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition (RIDLS) Publishes a New Report on Open Data Research

Helping to Open Up: Improving Knowledge, Capability and Confidence in Making Research Data More Open

On behalf of the Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition (RIDLs), the Research Information Network has published the conclusions of a study that examines the means that are, or ought to be, deployed to help researchers acquire the knowledge, confidence and ability for them to ensure the greatest possible openness with the research data that they create.

The report, entitled ‘Helping to open up: improving knowledge, capability and confidence in making research data more open’, supports the goal of realizing an open data culture, as described notably in the Royal Society’s 2012 report on Science as an open enterprise.

Stéphane Goldstein, Research Information Network, says: 

The report stresses the importance of ensuring that open data – with all the opportunities, risks, benefits and practices that it entails – should be more strongly integrated with training and support for research data management.

Open data in the realm of academic research is an issue which has received much attention lately, but the implications for training and skills have not always been fully considered. It is therefore hoped that this report will provide a timely opportunity to reflect on how researchers might be better equipped to face the challenges represented by an increased emphasis on openness.

The full report (in PDF) is available at:

Common Principles on Data Policy | Research Councils UK

RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy

Making research data available to users is a core part of the Research Councils’ remit and is undertaken in a variety of ways. We are committed to transparency and to a coherent approach across the research base. These RCUK common principles on data policy provide an overarching framework for individual Research Council policies on data policy.

To read all principles on data policy: