RDS progress marked at Partners' event
Research Data Scotland
26 Sept 2023
Research Data Scotland, formally established as a not-for-profit organisation, by the Scottish Government in 2021, held its second all-partners event on Thursday 21 September.
Around 70 partners and stakeholders joined online and in-person at the Bayes Centre.
Highlights included updates on the Researcher Access Service, which will simplify and speed up access to secure data for research, the Scottish Safe Havens Network and a partner's view from Suhail Iqbal, Programme Portfolio Manager at eDRIS (electronic Data Research and Innovation Service), Public Health Scotland.
Nora Cooke O’Dowd, Chief Data Officer, and Hugh Wallace, Chief Information Officer, presented and took questions about the new Researcher Access Service, which will be built iteratively and first stage, known as the ‘standard pathway’, is planned to launch in early 2024.
Development work to date has involved the Digital team focusing on the relaunch of the RDS website with new content and tools, prototyping the new process for standard pathway applications, and a technical appraisal of case management systems. The Data team has facilitated a review of the storage and linkage process for the national safe haven, leading to a proposed model to speed delivery of data projects through the work of the Alliance Technical Group. None of the work for both digital and data workstreams, would have been possible without the collaboration of our partners, in particular eDRIS at Public Health Scotland and EPCC.
Richard Walls, Operational Director of the Health Informatics Centre at the University of Dundee, Kathy Harrison, Programme Lead DataLoch, The University of Edinburgh and Layla Robinson, Chief Partnerships and Strategy Officer gave a joint update about the Safe Havens. Key areas of focus for this monthly forum have included developing common standards for data access and renewal of the Safe Havens Charter.
A structured networking session in the room explored four topics:
- Public engagement and involvement
- Information Governance
- Private sector data access for public good
- Synthetic data
The attendees online discussed metadata.
The inaugural all-partners meeting took place in March 2023. Professor Roger Halliday, CEO of RDS, said in his introduction at the second meeting: “While change can take time, since March we’ve been working together with our partners to make tangible progress.
“Areas of progress include a systems development fund as part of a system wide approach to unlock Scotland’s data; a new website with user-centred design at its core as the first step towards a Researcher Access Service, which will be the main goal as part of shaping our services for the future.
“And other examples of improvement which help us to strengthen collaboration while maintaining trustworthiness is the work we’ve been leading on public engagement and involvement for two DARE UK projects.”
Read Professor Halliday’s blog: There’s no progress without collaboration and reflections on the all-partners event.