Primary research data represents the building blocks of scholarly research. Across all major disciplines - Medicine, Engineering, Physics, Social Sciences, the Arts and Humanities - primary data forms the basis for the secondary research outputs in those disciplines in the form of monographs, journal articles, reports and conference papers.

The embedding of repositories in UK HEIs has brought greater focus onto secondary research outputs. Repositories give such publications greater visibility. With material such as research Ph.D theses, these materials receive far more consultations through being based in a repository than the paper copy does on a library shelf.

With some notable exceptions, repositories have to date not tackled the storage, preservation and sharing of primary research data. This is an area of academic activity that is ripe for study. It is not clear to academics who owns the primary research data they and their team collect. Nor is there a real awareness how such data should be curated and preserved in the long term. Who is responsible for doing this? Where should it be stored? How much will it cost? In principle, primary research data which is properly curated can be re-used by any researchers or research teams that have access to that curated material - thus saving money by not having to replicate data collection.

Few, if any, UK Universities know what primary research data they hold, where it is stored, who (if anyone) is caring for it, and what the best way of preserving that data in the long term is. UCL is a university now ranked 9th in the world league table of universities1. It has a strong research record in all major academic areas of study. The motivation for UCL Library Services to submit this bid to the JISC for partnership in developing a Data Audit Framework is the need for UCL to be clear what primary data it holds, how it is managed and made available for other researchers, and whose responsibility it is to undertake the long-term curation of this material.