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Research Support

An overview of the support that is offered for researchers by the University of Essex Library.

Citing Data

Properly citing the data you use in your research is important. It ensures that everyone is given the credit they deserve, helps ensure accuracy and replicability of research, and reduces fraud and theft of work in the academic world.

The UK Data Service explains why it is important to #CiteTheData in the video below:

The exact requirements of a data citation may vary depending on your referencing style but some common best practice is to:

  • Always include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) linking to the data you use in your research.
  • Deposit your data in a repository that others can access, check, and cite, e.g. the University of Essex Data Repository

A typical example citation is composed as follows:

Name of the data collector (Year of data publication). Name of the dataset, Date of data collection. [Type of data being cited]. Edition. Where the dataset is held. DOI.

Here is an example citation for a dataset from Understanding Society:

University of Essex, Institute for Social and Economic Research (2022). Understanding Society: Waves 1-11. 2009-2020 and Harmonised BHPS: Waves 1-18, 1991-2009. [data collection]. 15th Edition. UK Data Service. SN:6614,

Understanding Society have produced a video explaining how to cite your data clearly:

Teaching Datasets

If you are a lecturer or teacher who is looking for practical examples to support your students or data users, Understanding Society has put together some datasets that have been specially designed for use in teaching. These datasets currently include:

  • Longitudinal Teaching Dataset

  • Ethnicity and Health Teaching Dataset

  • COVID-19 Teaching Dataset

You can find out more about and download these datasets here.

Where do I find out more?

The University of Essex Research & Data Repositories

The Research and Enterprise Office here at the University of Essex oversee the management of both our Research Repository and our Data Repository. They also provide guidance on publishing including Open Access

If you are looking for easily accessible research or data, or to deposit your own, you can find more information through their websites:

UK Data Service

The UK Data Service supports research nation-wide by helping to collect & store data. It frequently runs training & events and provides a Learning Hub with reference material to keep you up to date with your data management skills.

If you are new to using data, they have dedicated resources to help you get started on the right foot.

The UK Data Service also have a YouTube channel where they post short information video and recording of full-length workshops on data management & citation. They have a playlist of useful introductory videos here.

If you are looking for data, they have some guidance on how you can search for data in their catalogue here:

If you are looking to deposit your data, you may find their workshop on how to deposit your data with ReShare useful: Workshop: Depositing your data with ReShare

Prefer something to listen to? The Expert’s Experts podcast has experts in the data landscape share their specialist knowledge. Their recent episodes include the launch of the Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS) – the biggest ever UK research survey into the lived experiences of ethnic minorities throughout Britain, Census expert insights, celebrations of female social science pioneers, an International Women’s Day interview with Dr. Julia Kasmire, and an exploration of the extensive training that UKDS offers to researchers & data users.

UK Data Archive

The UK Data Archive is based here at the University of Essex and acts as an partner for the UK Data Service. It provides best practice guides and other resources on research data management.

You can find data for your research or deposit the data you generate in the UK Data Archive.

Understanding Society

Understanding Society conducts longitudinal studies of households to gain a data-backed understanding of different generations' experience of life in the UK.

You can find out how to access their data here and more about how to cite and acknowledge their data here.

If you are interested in finding out more about Understanding Society and their data in depth, jump into their new user Learning Pathway. This will support you to access their data and highlight the variety of training and webinars they have available.

Understanding Society have also produced an infographic to explain how & why to cite your data properly:

Focus: Data 2022

Purple background with black horizontal stripe. White text on the black stripe reading Focus: Data. White graph illustration to the right of the text.

The first two weeks of July 2022 was our "Focus: Data" where we shared a variety of materials to help increase your skills when using data in your research. We ran this Focus in partnership with the University of Essex Research & Enterprise Office, UK Data Service, UK Data Archive, and Understanding Society.

Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest information to help you find, cite, and deposit your research data! #CiteTheData



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