UK Data Service

The UK Data Service is the largest digital repository for quantitative and qualitative social science and humanities research data in the UK. This national data service integrates and builds on investments the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)[1] has made in UK research infrastructure for over 50 years, including the UK Data Archive, Economic and Social Data Service, the Secure Data Service, Census Programme and Survey Question Bank.[2]

UK Data Service
FormationOctober 2012 (consolidating previous services)
TypeGovernment-funded research infrastructure
PurposeAdvancing social science research and teaching through access to data, documentation, guidance and support
HeadquartersUniversity of Essex, Colchester
Region served
UK and abroad
Prof Matthew Woollard
AffiliationsESRC, UK Data Archive

The UK’s only nationally funded research infrastructure for curating and providing access to social science data, their services and expertise, especially around data curation and secure access to data, have been influential across the world. Pioneers in data curation, preservation and enabling secure, long-term access to economic, social and population data, their long-established data training programme continues to transform social science teaching, learning and research.

Through enabling long-term research access to invaluable data, the UK Data Service plays a critical part in helping build a stronger society and creating better lives for people in the UK. They add value to key national data investments by continuing to make them reusable long-term, enabling research with real impact; train researchers in highly specialist data skills, previously lacking in the UK and they enable those who teach social sciences to use real data to bring their teaching to life.

As a free service to data owners and free at the point of use to non-commercial data users, they provide long term value for money to both data owners and data users.