New Scottish knowledge portal to offer access to wealth of research
A new website which brings together thousands of research publications, dating back centuries to the present day, has been launched by six Scottish Government funded partners.
The new Research Scotland portal will collate publications from Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, James Hutton Institute, Marine Scotland, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, SASA and the Moredun Research Institute. It will make it easier for members of the public to access full-text research on areas like climate change, biodiversity loss and the state of our waters and oceans in one place, free of charge.
The available publications date from 1683 and range from the Hortus medicus edinburgensis, the first catalogue of plants growing in the Botanic Garden, right up to the outputs from current publicly funded research. An example of the wealth of research available through the new portal is a paper on the spatial distribution of marine litter on the northwest European continental shelf. The study looks at how the prevailing wind direction impacts on how much litter is washed on to, and off from, beaches in Scotland. This information can be used, alongside monitoring data from a citizen science programme run by the Marine Conservation Society that measures the amount of litter on beaches, to help managers and policy makers measure the success of litter reduction strategies.
RBGE’s Dr Lorna Mitchell, Research Scotland project lead, said: “By bringing together publications into one single platform, Research Scotland is helping to present a fuller picture of work that has been previously been produced and identifying gaps where further research is required across some of our big global societal issues like climate change and biodiversity loss.”
Dr David Kenyon, Head of Diagnostics, Wildlife & Molecular Biology at SASA and the Scottish Government Head of Professional Development for Science, added: “I am delighted to see the Research Scotland website launched which for the first time provides unrivalled access to a wealth of historical data held by these world class research institutions.
“I strongly believe that science funded by the Scottish Government is done so on behalf of the Scottish people and therefore it is vital to facilitate access to its outcomes.”
Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn commented: “By bringing these important publications together into one single platform, Research Scotland will make it easier for researchers and the public to find and use our data.
“It will present a fuller picture of previously produced work and help identify gaps where further research is needed across some of our big global social issues, including climate change and biodiversity loss.”
Research Scotland is hosted by the Scottish Confederation of University & Research Libraries (SCURL) Shared Service at the University of Edinburgh.
Image: Torry beach in Aberdeen after Storm Frank in 2015. (Credit: Marine Scotland)
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