What we do with your data

Once your data collection is received by us, we email you to confirm receipt and undertake the following checks to prepare your data for archiving and sharing.

Safeguarding your data

The UK Data Archive, based at the University of Essex, is the organisation that houses and hosts the data.

Since 2010, the Archive has been certified under the international ISO 27001 standard for information security. A number of government departments have also carried out surveillance visits to the Archive to clarify our information security regime.

Our Information Security Management System supports all aspects of digital curation carried out in-house, such as the selection, acquisition, ingesting, archiving, provision of access to data, and the management and planning of digital curation. The certification allows us to handle secure data on-site and supports secure remote access to these research-rich data.

In house, data are classified according to their level of detail, sensitivity and confidentiality. Appropriate data handling and access safeguards are also in place.

Contact us if your department needs more information about our accreditation and security arrangements.

Deposit review

We carry out checks to ensure that:

  • All required materials have been received.
  • The data have no ethical, legal or rights issues which might prevent sharing.
  • The condition and format of the data are suitable for use and long-term preservation.
  • Documentation is sufficient to enable researchers to use the data.

In-house processing

Our Pre-Ingest and Data Curation teams assess the data before full processing begins. The team examines the data and makes decisions regarding:

  • confidentiality and data integrity
  • file preservation and dissemination formats composition of documentation
  • levels of validation

Any proposed changes are agreed with the depositor before work is carried out, to prepare data for preservation and dissemination. Any changes made to the data, such as removal of a variable or editing of a variable for confidentiality purposes, are recorded in our processing notes.

In-house processing activities depend on the unique characteristics of each dataset, but in general, the following procedures are always undertaken:

  • Review data for confidentiality issues.
  • Check for basic inconsistencies in data.
  • Carry out data enhancement to the agreed standard with UK government series data.
  • Generate multiple data formats for dissemination and preservation.
  • Collate and prepare user documentation.
  • Create enhanced DDI-compliant catalogue metadata for our Discover (and for Nesstar), using the information provided in the deposit form provided by the depositor and in accompanying documentation.
  • Gather citations to related publications for inclusion in the catalogue metadata.
  • Assign a Digital Object Identifier (DataCite DOI) for the data collection.
  • ‘Release’ data via our Discover system, within 30 working days of the in-house ingest team receiving a dataset ready for full processing.

For more detailed information on in-house data processing see how we curate data.

Releasing the data

Once processing is complete, data and documentation become available in our online data catalogue according to the access level selected. An email will be sent to you to confirm the release.

The majority of data collections are processed very quickly. However, some issues may not become apparent until detailed work begins, which may require suspension of processing while we contact you for clarification.

You can email the Collections Development team for information on progress. If you receive enquiries from potential users, please direct them to our helpdesk.