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Improving the Visibility of Data: a Case Study on An International Birth Cohort Survey

Presenter 1
Hersh Mann
UK Data Service

The Young Lives birth cohort study is an innovative project investigating the changing nature of childhood poverty in four developing countries. Released by the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) in 2006, 10 researchers accessed the data in the first year. In 2007 the depositors of the survey worked with the ESDS to implement a plan aimed at raising its visibility and increasing its use. The survey became an ESDS 'major study' with its own set of specialist support web pages and an immediate spike in usage followed: by the end of 2007, the study was attracting 40+ users per annum.  The ESDS (now UK Data Service) has continued to build on the relationship with the data producers and the Young Lives data portfolio now includes a teaching dataset, as well as new waves of data. At the end of 2014, users per annum now stand at 225, with a substantial proportion of these coming from the countries being studied.  This case study is just one example of how collaboration with the data producer can greatly enhance data visibility and use. It is an illustration of how data services can do much more than simply 'get, store, provide'.

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