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Connecting researchers to public sector data

We work with researchers, analysts and policymakers to unlock the potential of public sector data for the benefit of public good.

Explore what we do

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Metadata catalogue

The RDS metadata catalogue collates information on health, social care and administrative datasets published by various public sector organisations across Scotland.

Search the metadata catalogue for datasets that researchers from approved organisations can apply to access.


Find datasets

  • About Research Data Scotland

    We are a not-for-profit charitable organisation created and funded by the Scottish Government, and a partnership between leading universities and public bodies.

  • Simplifying access to data

    Our vision is to advance health and social wellbeing in Scotland by simplifying access to public sector data.

  • Innovation and engagement

    Our growing number of projects centre on improving the ways researchers access data and building public trust.

The data access process

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Accessing data

Learn how you can apply to access secure datasets in Scotland and what support is available.

Get the details
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Data access overview

Find out more about the process of applying for access to secure datasets for research.

Discover the process
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Information for researchers

Discover how the eDRIS team supports researchers and what kinds of training and approvals are required.

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Recent highlights

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New RDS business plan published

The business plan outlines RDS's activity focusing on three key areas: strengthening collaboration, demonstrating trustworthiness; shaping our services for the future; and a system wide approach to unlocking Scotland's data.

Research Data Scotland

17 May 2023

Learn about data

Want to know more about data but don’t know where to start?

Explore our handy data explainers to learn what public sector data is, how it's kept safe and how it’s used in research.

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