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New forms of data – new opportunities for research? Peter Elias University of Warwick and University College London.

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Presentation on theme: "New forms of data – new opportunities for research? Peter Elias University of Warwick and University College London."— Presentation transcript:

1 New forms of data – new opportunities for research? Peter Elias University of Warwick and University College London

2 What do we mean by ‘new forms of data’? What problems do they pose as research resources? What is the OECD Global Science Forum (GSF)? What did the Social Science GSF Expert Group recommend? What are we doing about these recommendations? What are the opportunities for research using new forms of data?

3 Broad category of data Detailed categories Examples Individual tax records Income tax; tax credits Corporate tax Corporation tax; sales; tax, value added Category A: records tax Government transactions Property tax Tax on sales of property; tax on value records of property State pensions; hardship payments: Social security unemployment benefits; child payments benefits Import/exportBorder control records; import/export records licensing records ESR ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL p OECD BETTER POLICIES FOR BETTER LIVES

4 Broad category of data Detailed categories Examples Housing and land use registers Registers of ownership Educational registers School inspections; pupil results Criminal justice registers Police records; court records Social security registers Registers of eligible persons Electoral Voter registration records Category B: registers Government and Employer census records: registers of other registration Employment persons joining/leaving records registers employment Births; marriages; civil unions; deaths; Population immigration/emigration records; registers census records Health systemPersonal medical records; hospital registers records Vehicle/driverDriver licence registers; vehicle registers licence registers Membership registers Political parties; charities; clubs E.S.R.0 ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL ))OECD BETTER POLICIES FOR BETTER LIVES

5 Store cards Supermarket loyalty cards Utilities; financial institutions; Category C: Customer accounts mobile phone usage Commercial transactions Other customer Product purchases; service records agreements Search terms Google; Bing; Yahoo search activity WebsiteVisit statistics; user generated Category D:interactions content Internet usage DownloadsMusic; films; TV Social networksFacebook; Twitter; Linkedln Blogs; news sites Reddit ESRC ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL )) OECD BETTER POLICIES FOR BETTER LIVES

6 CCTV images Security/safety camera recordings Vehicle tracking records; vehicle Category E: Traffic sensors movement records Tracking data Mobile phone locations: GPS data Visible light spectrumGoogle Earth© Category F: Satellite and aerial imagery Night-time visible radiation Landsat Infrared; radar mapping ESRC ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL ))OECD BETTER POLICIES FOR BETTER LIVES

7 What problems do they pose as research resources? Access – how do we gain access for research purposes? Provenance – do we know how such data were created, the processes that gave rise to them, their coverage? Permanence – how durable are they? Can research based on such data be replicated? Comparability – how suitable are they for research which compares and contrasts groups? Legality – what laws govern their use for research? Ethics – should we use them as research resources? Linkage – can different types of data be linked and, if so, how? Structure – often complex, non-­‐standard. Skill and capacity – do we have the requisite skills, knowledge, tools to be able to realise their research potential?

8 OECD Global Science Forum The OECD established the Global Science Forum (GSF) in 1999 as a mechanism through which countries could raise scientific issues where there was a need for international collaboration. It consists of delegates nominated from the Science Ministries of member countries, plus a number of non-­‐member countries. The Forum is a general purpose science policy committee, able to address issues across the entire spectrum of physical, life, earth and social sciences. Member countries raise issues through their delegated representatives. If sufficient support is forthcoming, the GSF can ask for an Expert Group to be established to report on the issue and make recommendations. Once a report from an Expert Group has been endorsed by the GSF, any recommendations are for the scientific community to take forward, through science funding agencies, the research communities themselves, international agencies or some combination of these.

9 New Data for Understanding the Human Condition The OECD Global Science Forum established an expert group to review developments in international data availability, consider their suitability for comparative research, detail the challenges to be addressed, and make recommendations to respond to these new opportunities. This February 2013 report presents the findings and recommendations of the group.

10 Recommendations (1) Exploring the research potential of new forms of data Funding agencies should collaborate internationally to help specify and provide resources for a programme of research (methods and data types) that explores the research potential for new forms of data, their integration with traditional sources and linkage. Official statistics and research users Mechanisms should be found to bridge across the communities of official statisticians and social scientific researchers.

11 Recommendations (2) Code of conduct covering the use of new forms of data for research National research funding agencies should collaborate to develop a framework code of conduct covering the use of new forms of personal data, particularly those generated via network communication. Improving incentives for international sharing of research data International efforts be made to improve incentives for data sharing among scientific communities. Research funding agencies, publishers and employers of researchers to take coordinated actions to achieve this goal.

12 Recommendations (3) Coordinating data management plans Funding agencies should cooperate to share such information, publishing details of data management plans associated with new research awards. International organisations and transnational data agencies Leading international agencies (World Bank Group, World Health Organisation, United Nations Economic and Social Council, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Labour Office) should collaborate in the formulation of a strategic approach to the identification of obstacles to improved data sharing, the removal of these obstacles and a coordinated plan for the creation of data discovery tools on their websites.

13 Recommendations (4) Global data curation Social science research communities in countries without institutional support for data curation or supporting infrastructure should conduct an assessment of their national needs and assets in this area that will contribute to national plans of action. Working with researchers in such countries, established social science data archives should assist them by developing an assessment instrument and providing expert advice in preparing plans.

14 What are we doing to take these recommendations forward? The work of the UK Research Councils New legislation to govern access and use for research (UK Data Sharing Bill; EU General Data Protection Regulation) Research funders have stepped up interagency cooperation National Statistical Offices coordinating plans for improved data harmonisation and sharing (see GESIS MISSY) International agencies stepping up data access (World Bank, WHO, IMF, etc.) ESFRI Roadmap 2016 – new opportunities for global infrastructure to promote research use of new forms of data New OECD Expert Group on research ethics and new forms of data

15 The work of the UK Research Councils  ESRC Big Data Network  RC UK Newton Fund  ESRC International Funding Initiatives

16 Investing in the Big Data Network  Chancellor’s Autumn Statement (2012) included £600m for science, research and innovation, £484m for RCUK  Funds to support the development of innovative technologies across eight areas, including ‘big data’ -­‐ £189m for RCUK  Draws from RCUK Strategic Framework for Capital Investment (published Nov 2012)  April 2013 – ESRC earmarked £64m to support packages of activity within the ‘big data’ theme: – Administrative Data Research Network – Business and Local Government Data Research Centres – Understanding Populations

17 Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN) – Phase 1  Facilitate access to routinely collected administrative data  Data owners – Government Departments  Awards: – Four Administrative Data Research Centres (ADRCs): England, Wales, Scotland and N Ireland – An Administrative Data Service to coordinate the network  Safe settings  A UK-­‐wide Governing Board for the network  Researcher training and accreditation  Public engagement strategy  Key partnerships with National Statistical Authorities  Further information at and see Taskforce Report (opposite)

18 Business and Local Government Data Research Centres – Phase 2  Facilitate access to data held by private sectors and local government organisations  Cross-­‐cuffing themes  Build up – sector wide engagement (including FS)  Infrastructure, research, training, methods  Three Centres funded: – Urban Big Data Centre – Glasgow – Consumer Data Research Centre – Leeds/ UCL – BLoG Data Research Centre – Essex  UK Data Service  Announced Feb 2014

19 ESRC investment in Big Data UKDS ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre ESRC Urban Big Data Centre ESRC BLoG Data Research Centre Administrative Data Research Network

20 Big Data Network Phase 3  Civil Society and social media data  Current activities – Enhancement of RCUK Digital Economy Hubs around social media – Civil Society Data Partnership Scheme  New funding: – International Interdisciplinary Centre in Real-­‐time Data Analytics – announced December Aims to facilitate access to new forms of data such as social media and develop international partnerships

21 Key Aims and Challenges  Key aims: – Facilitating access to different forms of data, in safe settings – Support researchers in use of the data – Centres of expertise – Developing relationships with private, public, civil society organisations – Catalyse innovative research – Operate as a network – big data and wider  Key challenges: – Exploitation – Capacity – including methods – Cross-­‐disciplinary working – Combining and linking further – Privacy, ethics and security – Public engagement – Sustainability

22 What is coming up?  Digging into Data – round 4 Applications from two or more countries (US, UK, Netherlands, Canada and possibly Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany) – by 2016?  Opportunities to use the ADRN?  Bidding for partnerships within the International Interdisciplinary Centre in Real-­‐time Data Analytics – WISC and CUSP as key players?


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