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Scientific and Engineering Data

Your guide to finding scientific and engineering raw data for analysis, comparison and research

Scientific and engineering data sources offer a rich resource for new research and investigation by presenting raw data for analysis and comparison. The Library provides access to a number of data services, including science and engineering databases, books, journals and mapping tools. Data centres in the U.K. and wider world, with responsibility for maintaining and making scientific research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (following the FAIR Data Principles), are also linked to in this guide alongside useful webpages and online tools.

Data Centres

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has a network of environmental data centres which hold data from environmental scientists working in the UK and around the world. The data centres are responsible for maintaining environmental data and making them available to all users, from science, commerce, government and education as well as the general public.

You can search for data held in any of the NERC data centres through the central NERC Data Catalogue Service or by going to direct to individual data centre websites:


European Environmental Agency


Joint Research Centre (JRC)



World Data System

The World Data System (WDS) is an Interdisciplinary Body of the International Science Council, promoting long-term stewardship of, and universal and equitable access to, quality-assured scientific data and data services, products, and information across a range of disciplines in the natural and social sciences, and the humanities. WDS aims to facilitate scientific research  by coordinating and supporting trusted scientific data services for the provision, use, and preservation of relevant datasets, while strengthening their links with the research community.

Membership of the WDS includes over 70 Data Centres, which can browsed and searched via the links below:


American Data Centres

See further suggestions on Finding Data and guidance from our Research Data Service.


Digimap link. Text reads: up-to-date maps and geospatial data from Ordnance Survey, the Geological Survey and Oceanwise.

Digimap is an online mapping and data service that provides online access to the most up-to-date maps from Ordnance Survey. We have the full EDINA Digimap suite of products including OS, Historic, Geology, Marine, Environment, Aerial, Lidar, Global, Society, Pilot, Verisk and agCensus. 

  • Geology Digimap provides map data at a number of different scales from the British Geological Survey (BGS) along with the BGS Lexicon of Named Rock Units and the Onshore Borehole Index. Data can be especially useful for civil engineering, ecology, coastal erosion studies and natural resource planning. 
  • Marine Digimap provides detailed spatial data and marine charts for the waters around Great Britain including both offshore and near-shore areas, vector data describing our coastal environments and gridded bathymetry, socioeconomic and conservation layers. Marine data can be useful in offshore engineering projects, management of marine and coastal environments, marine ecology studies, environmental impact assessments and tourism.
  • Environment Digimap provides Land Cover Maps of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).  The Land Cover data can be used to plan, manage or monitor agriculture, ecology, conservation, forestry, environmental assessment, water supplies, urban spread, transport, telecommunications, recreation and mineral extraction.

You can access Digimap by clicking on the banner above or via Library Search. Find out more about Digimap on our Maps Guide.

Research Data management link. Text reads: Explore the toolkit for advice and information on the data lifecycle.