Using others' data

Many researchers will not create their own data but will re-using others' data in new and imaginative ways to carry out further research.

Many researchers will have concerns about using research data - the University of Glasgow have produced a guide that will answer many of these concerns  Burrow, S. Margoni, T.  and McCutcheon, V.  (2018) Information Guide: FAQ: Using Research Data. CREATe, University of Glasgow, 2018. Documentation. University of Glasgow. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence – CC-BY 4.0

UK Data Service/ UK Data Archive Service

Their primary aim is to provide users with seamless and flexible access to the UK’s largest collection of social, economic and population data resources. They have lots of different types of data available – see their website for further information.

Google Dataset Search

Google Dataset Search can help researchers locate online data that is freely available for use. It locates files and databases on the basis of how their owners have classified them. It does not read the content of the files themselves as search engines do for web pages. This means that metadata is extremely important in order for people to find datasets. 

More resources

The UK DATA Service has a YouTube channel where they have lots of videos and webinars available, and they also offer guides on particular datasets, topics and methodologies and software. In addition, the Service provides a range of Data Skills Modules.

Data search sites

  • DataCite search This enables you to find a dataset using its associated metadata, e.g., keywords, date and location. DataCite is an international organisation which aims to establish easier access to research data; increase the acceptance of research data as a legitimate contribution in the scholarly record and to support data archiving to permit results to be verified and re-purposed for future study.
  • SHARE: SHARE gather metadata from repositories to create a free and open database of scholarly research activity and output across the research lifecycle - including grant proposals, research datasets and journal articles.