2015), ‘Towards a UK Research Data Discovery Service’, in 10th International Digital Curation Conference: "Ten years back, ten years forward: achievements, lessons and the future for digital curation", 30 Euston Square, London, 9–12 February 2015.(
The changing practice of research increasingly requires the data and other sources that constitute the evidence underpinning findings to be made available for verification and re-use. In order to be re-used for the creation of new knowledge, to allow more efficient and effective research to take place, and to maximise the potential impact of research activity, research data must be discoverable. Universities are making research data assets available through repositories or other data portals. EPSRC requires research organisations to maintain a data catalogue. It is likely that some mechanism for aggregation will be necessary to increase visibility and to promote discovery and linking between datasets from different discipline areas, and those held in different institutions. Whereas document repositories can, in principle, make articles open to full-text searching by generic search engines such as Google, this recourse is not available to data archives relying on metadata. A discovery service that aggregates simple, but textually rich, metadata records for research data assets held in Australian universities and data centres has been developed by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). Research Data Australia provides a discovery service for Australian research data collections, by presenting records as web pages and thus promoting the visibility of data resources to search engines. The information architecture establishes connections between data collections, thus promoting discovery for re-use. Through Jisc-funded collaborative activity, the DCC and UKDA undertook a short ‘proof of concept’ pilot activity between October 2014 and summer 2015 to trial a new instance of the Research Data Australia software platform and test its suitability with a network of UK HEI and discipline-specific datacentre partners. We are currently planning a new phase of activity to build on the progress made in the 2014-15 pilot. This poster describes the progress made so far in our work towards a UK Research Data Discovery Service and the overall aims and projected scope of the next phase of activity which is currently being planned. In this way, we hope to usefully describe the potential of the planned Service to promote the discoverability of research data assets in the UK and – ultimately – globally.