British Library leads the way for sharing research data in the UK as five major institutions sign up to DataCite

31/10/2012 – 1:20 pm
Tony McCall

Five major research centres have expanded their commitment to make data more accessible through the British Library’s DataCite service, a global initiative which addresses the problem of how to find, access and re-use the results of research. The Archaeology Data Service, the UK Data Archive, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Science & Technology Facilities Council and the Chinese genomics institute BGI have signed up to the service and are the first institutions to work with the British Library on this initiative.

Data from the participating organisations, which spans information derived from ice cores to gene sequences, cultural heritage to current populations, will be marked with DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) to enable it to be identified and cited, a system which has been widely used to provide persistent links to academic journal articles. This initiative provides a practical solution to one of the most significant challenges facing researchers today – access to data – an issue highlighted by the Royal Society in a report published in June this year, ‘Science as an open enterprise’, which recommended that scientists should communicate the data they collect in fieldwork and research more widely.

The benefits for researchers include:

Confidence that the link to the data (or information about the data) will be persistently and uniquely identified
Increased ease of citing data which will, in turn, increase its discovery and access, enabling others to verify the results and validate their own research
Access to a myriad of new research opportunities which have been out-of-reach until now
Acknowledgement and credit for sharing data and having it cited.

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source: British Library – Press & Policy (29/10/12)

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