SafePod for data research available at Kew

We have today become one of the first places in the UK to host a SafePod for data research.

A SafePod is a small prefabricated room, which provides the necessary security and controls to enable a researcher to access and work on data that requires secure access. In most cases no data needs to be held inside a SafePod, and instead access is provided by secure remote connection to the dataset-holding organisation’s server.

A wealth of government datasets, as well as study and survey datasets, are available for secure access from SafePods. These include new linked datasets created by Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) projects, such as the ground-breaking Data First programme at the Ministry of Justice, and the majority of datasets held by the Office for National Statistics’ Secure Research Service, the UK Data Service and SAIL Databank.

The security of data used for research is vital, as many of the datasets in question are based on the administrative records of millions of people across the UK. Strict controls are already in place for their research use, and the datasets are either de-identified or anonymised before they can be used.

SafePods maintain the physical security needed for research use of these datasets and enable researchers to provide valuable insights about how our society and economy function, without compromising anyone’s privacy.

The SafePod Network is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and run by the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research as part of the ADR UK programme. Researchers can learn more and book a SafePod through the SafePod Network website, and where necessary, priority access will be given for research that is critical to society and the economy.

Other organisations that host a SafePod include universities in Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Central Lancashire, Dundee, Exeter, Glasgow Caledonian, Liverpool, London School of Economics and Political Science, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, Ulster and York.

More information about our SafePod can be found here.

Tags: academic research, datasets, digital archives, SafePod