Opening up Local Government Data to Academics


LARIA is working with the ESRC’s Business and Local Government Data Research Centres to find out more about existing links between local government and academia. In particular we are looking at how data, routinely collected by business and local government organisations, can be made accessible for academics in order to undertake research.

Do you work in local government and have provided data to academics? If not why not?

We have identified ten big questions (and a few follow-up ones) that we would really like to talk to local authorities about. These are complex issues and therefore rather than a questionnaire we have set up a discussion on our Knowledge Hub pages. Click here to take part now.

The questions we are interested in are below and we would be interested in hearing from those who have shared data, but also those who haven’t. What are the barriers to you taking this step? We would like to hear from you by Monday 29th February 2016.

  1. What challenges do you seek to address through working with academia? Is it a defined project?
  2. Why do you choose to work with academics and what are the anticipated benefits?
  3. How practically does this relationship work? How is it managed within the Council? How did you first get in contact with the academics?
  4. What support do you need to undertake this work? What steps do you have to undertake to get this work approved within the Council and who do you need to get on side?
  5. What challenges do you experience relating to sharing your data with academics? 
  6. How do you overcome these challenges? How do you approach issues such as IP, Data Protection and ethics?
  7. How does the data sharing process differ for open and more sensitive data (safeguarded and controlled data)?
  8. What is the benefit of sharing data in this way and what impact has working with academics had on the Council’s operation and policies?
  9. What effect does this work have on the data itself (for instance, in terms of data quality)?
  10. What advice would you give to other Councils seeking to share their data with academics?


Photo: Research Data Management by Janneke Staaks

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