Friday, 8 April 2016

The database consortium

"The NSPCC has recently joined a consortium of information professionals who created the UKs leading database of social policy and practice resources. As the consortium celebrates 10 years, the NSPCCs Hazel Wright and consortium partners tell the story of how the database has evolved. "

Centre for Evidence Based Policy and Practice (EBPP)

"EBPPs initial meeting at CILIP in July 2003 was attended by the heads of ChildData, AgeInfo, Planex and Acompline. With the Social Care Institute for Excellences Caredata database also on board, these five database providers agreed to pool their resources and create the first national social science database embracing social care, social policy, social services, and public policy for all sectors of the research and practice community."

"Planex from Idox Information Service has grown from an emphasis on planning and social policy in Scotland and the north of England to a comprehensive source of evidence and research for the UK public sector. It covers all forms of documentation and the coverage of grey* literature is exceptionally strong. "

The strengths of consortium working

"They were all striving to provide the right information to their staff, members or customers. They all also had a professional drive to share their focused collections with the wider world of researchers contributing to knowledge and information of social science and influencing policy and practice."

"Merging their collections and working together to create a more comprehensive resource would help achieve both aims. It would broaden the range of information available to their customers and create the first UK social policy and practice database."

That is our data being merged for `their` customers so that they can study us all the better. In the knowledge based economy, data is a commodity.

Anybody who thinks the Named Person scheme, with its emphasis on data sharing, is innocent but misguided has not been looking at the databases.

*Grey literature: government reports, independent research institute or organisation or think tank publications and academic working papers.

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