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The UK Data Service: Delivering Open and Restricted Data (and Everything In-between)

Presenter 1
Richard Welpton
UK Data Archive

With the Open versus Restricted data debate in full throttle, we are in danger of forgetting about the intermediate access options (not quite open, not quite restricted, but access with conditions attached as appropriate to the data). Providing an array of data access options which vary in stringency with confidentiality, is a useful mechanism in which researchers self-select access, depending upon their data requirements. This actually opens up data while helping to protect the security of confidential data. Formally launched in October 2012, the UK Data Service is a new service that is mandated to provide an entire spectrum of access options, from open data to restricted sensitive data, including a number of options in-between. This paper presents the new arrangements for economic and social data access via the new UK Data Service, and demonstrates why offering a range of access options (the full Data Access Spectrum), from downloadable open data to more restricted access, increases the range of data available, and widens research possibilities, while maximizing returns from investments made in data delivery.

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