The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has this week launched its new Research Accreditation Service (RAS) – an online one-stop-shop for becoming an accredited researcher under the Digital Economy Act, and accessing research data held by the ONS Secure Research Service (SRS) and other processors accredited under the Act.
The new RAS, which has been developed with investment from ADR UK, is intended to provide a more streamlined and easier to use mechanism for researchers to access ONS research services.
ONS is a key partner in ADR UK, playing a crucial role in sourcing, linking and curating administrative data for the partnership. Linked, anonymised, research-ready datasets created as a result of ADR UK projects and investments are made available to researchers via the SRS, which operates in line with the ‘Five Safes’ to ensure all data is accessed in a safe and secure manner with minimal risk to data holders or the public.
ADR UK investment is also enabling improvements to the SRS infrastructure and capacity, which are expected to be implemented in April – look out for further announcements coming soon.
Researchers can register on the new RAS here.
For a full list of datasets available via the SRS, consult the SRS Data Catalogue.
Dr Emma Gordon, Director of ADR UK, said: “We are delighted that ADR UK investment is enabling these valuable improvements to the SRS, including the new RAS. Widening and streamlining safe and secure access for expert researchers to datasets in the SRS is an important priority for the partnership, and doing so will greatly enhance the long-term value and impact of the datasets that we create.”
Pete Stokes, Deputy Director of Research Services and Data Access at ONS, said: “I am pleased to say that with the creation of the RAS, we’ve digitised the application process for all our services and made huge improvements to how researchers manage their projects.
“We are investing heavily in ensuring the SRS infrastructure can continue to meet the increasing demand for research. It is important to us that we are solving some of the barriers that researchers told us were most frustrating."