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Rural Economy and Land Use Programme Data Support Service

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.

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Guidance on Data Management

RELU-DSS has created a publication called Guidance on Data Management, which provides information and examples of good practice applicable to all kinds of research data.

Guidance on Data Management (PDF)


The RELU Data Support Service will be visiting RELU projects to offer specific data guidance and support. Book a RELU-DSS visit for your project.
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