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Settings, Practices and Data Access: Results of a Survey of UK Social Scientists

Presenter 1
Jo Wathan
University of Manchester

Where access to data are controlled by a data service or depositor, their use may be restricted to individuals who are able to adhere to certain conditions regarding their use. These conditions may require the applicant to store, use or limit sharing in particular ways. In the UK such conditions have become more commonplace with the growth of special licences and securing settings for government microdata. In order to assess the potential impact of these conditions on the usability of data, a survey was conducted to obtain data from a representative sample UK social scientists in ten disciplines to better understand their working environments and practices during the autumn of 2009. A 61% response rate was achieved resulting in over six hundred completed questionnaires. The survey covered a range of questions which included, access to computing facilities, including data and printout storage, home working, data transportation, awareness of institutional policies on personal data, and attitudes to a range of access conditions.

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