The tax payer buys some data. Now who owns it? A private research company.

It turns out that when the Government commissions research (including data collection) from a private research company, it is not standard practice to require, as part of the contract, that the data is later placed in the UK Data Archive.  Who knew?  I’m told that the Government expects it, but cannot require it under the terms of the contract.

I feel a letter coming on…

Of course, there is a healthy serving of self-interest here.  I would like to get my hands on the data from the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study, which started in 2001 and concluded in 2011 with Citizens in Transition, a follow-up survey which contacted the cohort at age 20.  The follow-up section was paid for by ESRC (rather than the Department of Education) and they, of course, require that the data be deposited. Not that it’s much use without the previous waves…

EDIT: The follow-up data has been deposited. The original survey is still private.

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