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The UK's largest collection of digital research data in the social sciences and humanities

Trusted Digital Repositories

The UK Data Archive is a Trusted Digital Repository with a mission to provide reliable, long-term access to managed digital resources. We are at the forefront of defining, meeting and supporting the adoption of appropriate and universal standards.

Information security is at the heart of our work, and we are certified to ISO 27001, the highest international security standard.

Trust is critical to supporting the UK Data Archive's mission: to support high quality social and economic research, teaching and learning through ensuring long-term access to quality economic and social data, supporting and promoting their use, value and impact. This includes our role as lead partner in, and information secure, trustworthy digital repository provider to the UK Data Service, and as a department within the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Essex.

Framework of trust

Any organisation that provides access to data over a long period of time should publish a statement describing the practices they follow and the provenance of data they provide. This makes sure we can tell the extent to which data may have been altered during processing. Researchers need to be certain that data published by other producers on one day are the same as the data published the day before. Data owners and data subjects trust the Archive to:

  • Look after information appropriately, providing access to authorised users
  • Undertake ingest processing, including making sure data are appropriately anonymised and internally consistent
  • Manage their data using robust information security protocols and processes
  • Monitor hardware and software developments and migrate data collections accordingly
  • Uplift our business and workflows to accommodate big and linked data to meet the needs of today's researchers

We use the Open archival information system (OAIS) for organisational structure and systems for archives with responsibility for preserving information and make it available to a Designated Community.