The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU)
Data Support Service (DSS) has been set up to oversee and implement the
RELU data management policy and to support RELU award holders
in developing and achieving their data management plan.
RELU supports interdisciplinary research projects that integrate natural and social sciences data. RELU-DSS therefore provides an interdisciplinary
data support service, co-ordinated between the UK Data Archive (UKDA), a service provider for the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), based at the University of Essex, and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) at Lancaster, through its Environmental Informatics Programme.
RELU-DSS ensures that all data management activities of individual RELU projects are carried out
effectively. RELU-DSS provides information and
guidance to researchers and project managers on issues surrounding data sharing and preservation. RELU-DSS also provides information and recommendations to
the RELU management bodies on key data management issues. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the RELU programme, the work of RELU-DSS feeds
into the plans of the data centres of the Economic and Social Research Council
(ESRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC); UKDA and CEH respectively for management, long-term preservation and maximised re-use value of data.
RELU-DSS has also liaised with and learnt lessons from the RELU scoping study Data Resources for Rural
Sustainability Research: Realising Their Combined Potential.
The RELU-DSS team has expertise in both social and natural sciences research. Since the team is largely based at the
UKDA, this web site frequently refers to
guidelines and information developed by ESDS. Wherever appropriate users will be referred to the
ESDS web site, where many relevant data management, sharing and preservation
guidelines and suggestions are described in detail. These guidelines will apply equally to natural science datasets (where relevant).
Advice for RELU award holders is provided through a telephone
and email service and web-based guidance on data management,
legal and ethical issues and the practicalities of depositing data for preservation and archiving.