Information Services

Accessing data

How to access data from national data services and the Data Library collection.

CD-ROM reflection (accessing data)

National data services

Data Library staff act as liaison for the following national academic data services and can help local users identify and obtain suitable data and documentation quickly and in a usable format.

Administrative Data Research Network

The Administrative Data Liaison Service (ADLS) provided a support and brokerage service for researchers wishing to analyse unpublished government administrative data in the UK.

A new service, the Administrative Data Research Network, was launched in the Autumn of 2014 and took over this role.

The network includes the Administrative Data Research Centre for Scotland, which is led by the University of Edinburgh and brings together several major Scottish research centres.

UK Data Service

The UK Data Service (UKDS) provides access and support for an extensive range of key economic and social data across many disciplines and themes.

Registration is required and access is via EASE or UK Access Federation authentication by end users.

Data sources include government surveys, longitudinal studies and international data in addition to censuses, the Nesstar catalogue, and the Sample of Anonymised Records (SARS).

The UKDS is hosted by the UK Data Archive (UKDA) at the University of Essex.


Based at the University of Edinburgh, EDINA is a Jisc-funded national data centre delivering online resources for education and research, free at the point of use for students and academic staff in the UK working on and off campus.

Access to most services involves licence or subscription by universities and colleges, and generally requires EASE or UK Access Federation authentication by end users.

Registration is required for services such as Digimap.

Secure Lab

The UKDS Secure Lab is funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) and enables safe and secure remote access by researchers to data deemed too sensitive, detailed, confidential or potentially disclosive to be made available under standard licensing and dissemination arrangements.

Users who wish to access the Secure Lab must register with the UK Data Service and then apply for Secure Lab access.

Data Library collection

The Data Library purchases and subscribes to a selection of datasets which are available to staff and students at the University of Edinburgh for research or teaching purposes.

Users must register for each dataset as required by the data produced and access the data through online or CD-based interfaces.

The Data Library also offers a set of descriptive links to selected sources of data freely available on the internet, such as data produced by government.

Contact the Data Library to access or get more information about any of these datasets.

Data Library catalogue

Getting help

Data Library

  • Information Services

Lower Ground Floor
(Room L.08)
Main Library

Post Code
  • * Access to Room L.08 is via Reception Point telephone.

The Data Library team are available for personal consultations on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Feel free to email or telephone us with any data-related queries or to schedule a consultation. Our aim is to provide an initial response within one working day, and to progress or resolve your query within five.