Because good research needs good data

Jisc Research Data Registry and Discovery Service (Pilot) to test approaches towards a UK research data registry.


The DCC has recently completed a six-month pilot to test a possible approach to a UK-wide registry or catalogue of research data held in UK HEIs and established subject-focused data centres, working towards aims set out in the 2010 findings of the RLUK / RUGIT / Jisc UKRDS initiative. The service resulting from further pilot work will be one of the benefits of the Jisc higher education subscription package.

In this initial six-month phase (October 2013 - March 2014), the DCC pilot tested an approach for a service which aggregates metadata relating to data collections or datasets held in UK research institutions and subject data centres. Neither the pilot nor any further service will act as a repository for the datasets themselves. Rather, our work ultimately aims to provide a coherent point of access to discoverable, searchable, browsable and actionable descriptions of given datasets and how to access them, and so showcase the wealth of UK research data. 

This initial pilot was delivered by the DCC and the UK Data Archive, working with other RCUK data centres and a small group of universities with working data repositories. The team members involved were Alex Ball, Patrick McCann and Laura Molloy of the DCC, and Veerle Van Den Eynden of the UK Data Archive. We have posted updates on our progress here and on the DCC blog tagged 'research data registry'.

If you're interested in hearing more about any aspect of this work, or would like to be involved in further activity, please drop us a line at  You can also follow the Twitter hashtag #JiscRDRDS


Blogposts are available on the DCC news page, tagged 'research data registry', and are gathered here: /news/research-data-registry


The deliverables of the pilot phase have been posted here as they became available:

Presentations and other publications

Presentations from the phase 1 wrap-up / phase 2 requirements-gathering workshop on 16/6/14 are available here.

Ball, A., Ashley, K., McCann, P., Molloy, L. and Van Den Eynden, V. (2014) 'Show me the data: the pilot UK Research Data Registry'.  Presentation at 9th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC), 26 February 2014, San Francisco, USA.

Ball, A. (2014) 'Increasing research impact: the national data registry'. Presentation at Jisc Digital Festival, 11 March 2014. Birmingham, England.

Ball, A. (2014). 'Research datasets need to be easy to find if they are to achieve their potential impact.'  LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog.  Blogpost dated 18 March 2014.

Ball, A. (2014). 'Preparing for the UK Research Data Registry and Discovery Service'. Presentation at Repository Fringe 2014, 30-31 July 2014, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Davidson, J., Jones, S., and Molloy, L. (2014) 'Big data: the potential role of research data management plans and research data registries''. Paper and presentation slides given at IFLA. 18-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.  

Ball, A. (2014). 'Metadata for Impact: Lessons from the UK'. Presentation at 3rd EUDAT conference, 25 September 2014. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Molloy, L. (2014). Jisc Research Data Registry and Discovery Service (RDRDS): pilot project, phase 1; Key facts questionnaires: analysis, April-May 2014