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The World on a plate: building and supporting a new community of international data users

Presenter 1
Keith Cole
ESDS International, University of Manchester

The increasing importance of cross-national research has resulted in an astonishing growth in the usage of international data over recent years. ESDS International provides academics across the UK with access to the major international databanks produced by international governmental agencies such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In this paper we describe how an emerging new user community for these databanks has been developed and supported, and the challenges of responding to a diverse and expanding user group. We report some of the problems users face accessing and using the data in their teaching and research and how these barriers can be overcome. Finally, we examine how the rapid growth in usage in the UK is reflected in current global trends and the potential demand for access to these databanks worldwide.

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