Administrative data, i.e. data that are collected primarily for the purposes of service delivery, despite being collected for non-research purposes, have the potential to offer valuable insights into a number of research areas. This research could ultimately influence policy and have real world impact. Scotland has the potential to have a significant contribution to this field and become a leader in data science research using administrative data.
Having said that, the infrastructure surrounding the use of such data is still in its infancy and progress in Scotland has been slowed due to challenges associated with data access, information and training. Such challenges seem to disproportionately affect early career researchers (ECRs) like PhD students and Post-Docs: enter the eCRUSADers platform!
The purpose of the eCRUSADers platform is three-fold:
- To provide a space for the sharing of information and experiences
- To enhance our understanding of what is working and where there is room for improvement
- To encourage discussion around what can be done to keep Scotland on the trajectory of becoming a world leader in research using administrative data
Overall, the platform will provide a place for ECRs to go if they are thinking about working with Scottish administrative records and want to learn from the experiences of others. At the same time, the lessons learned in Scotland should also translate over to other jurisdictions, meaning that even if you aren’t working specifically with Scottish data, you can most likely still benefit from the eCRUSADers content.
As well as containing signposting to useful information and resources, eCRUSADers provides a blog consisting of researcher experience posts; discussions of academic articles of interest (from Scotland and beyond); discussions of relevant training/resources; round ups; contributions from non-ECRs working with or with an interest in Scotland’s administrative records; and anything else of eCRUSADers interest that crops up!
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