Keeping data secure : The Integrated Data Service and the Secure Research Service
The Secure Research Service (SRS) has been providing secure access to de-identified, unpublished data for accredited researchers for over 15 years.
Led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it is one of the largest Trusted Research Environments (TRE) in the UK.
The Integrated Data Service (IDS) builds on this foundation but offers a significantly enhanced service and will, in time, replace the current service.
This includes being able to:
- exploit state of the art cloud-based infrastructure for more secure data sharing between analysts
- access more data visualisation tools
- offer improved processing power and scalability to provide greater insight
- provide more streamlined arrangements that give quicker access to data, especially for government analysts
- transform the ways data owners can share data assets
- offer an increased range of integrated datasets that are built, linked, and maintained for richer analysis
When the transition will happen
We are undertaking a phased transition from the SRS to the IDS, consulting with SRS users to capture user needs and positively impact how this is shaped.
Any new SRS proposed projects, or extensions to existing projects are tested for their suitability for commencement in the IDS, where these data and tools are available to meet the requirements of that project(s).
The transition of existing users, datasets and projects will begin in late 2023, and will continue until all users have been transitioned to the new service. We will remain in contact with users about the progress on transition plans.
Access to IDS and SRS is conditional on system-specific user, project and data approvals. User accounts and credentials are not interchangeable between systems.
All accredited researchers using the SRS will automatically be able to use the IDS. Accreditation status is valid for five years and will remain active when you transition to the IDS. You will need to be re-accredited if you have reached the end of this period.
Continuing research during the transition
The teams overseeing the transition from SRS to the IDS are working hard to ensure minimal disruption for users and stakeholders. There will be some changes required at an individual and organisational level in terms of how users can access the IDS in comparison to the SRS. We will work closely with users and their organisations to ensure that these changes can be implemented as smoothly as possible.
All datasets currently available in the SRS will be made available in the IDS as the transition progresses. As the IDS develops, several new, linked data assets will be made available through the service, offering a wider range of resources with which users can conduct their analysis.
Data submitted to the IDS will need to comply with published data standards and be accompanied by metadata. Any data transitioned from SRS to IDS will also require the relevant, complete metadata.
A partial data catalogue is available to view in our Available data section.
To access the full data catalogue, users must first become an accredited researcher and have access to the system.
We are continuing to explore training and support requirements as part of the detailed transition planning, to understand how best we can support organisations on their transition to the IDS.
ONS will notify users prior to their transition to the IDS. All users and their projects will be migrated by the ONS. Users will be fully supported throughout the transition, and guidance will be provided when you are contacted about the transition of your project.