Information and communication

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A collection of resources on information and communication

Key Data

Whilst there is a wealth of data on information and communication, a number of studies are regarded as 'key' – either through their subject/geographical coverage, their use of standard measures, their longevity, their usage among the research community or because they are used to create 'official' figures.

The majority of the data described are known as 'raw', 'primary' or 'source' data in the sense that they represent information that has been collected 'first-hand'; they are original data sources which may then be used for 'secondary' analysis by researchers not involved in the data collection process. The majority of these data are anonymised because they describe the attitudes, behaviour, circumstances and personal details of the individuals being studied. These types of data are heavily used by the academic and government research communities.

The UK Data Service provides access to the following primary data sources:

Study name



1970 British Cohort Study

1970-ongoing; Great Britain

Hours watching television
Newspaper readership
Internet usage

British Chinese Online Identities: Participation and Inclusion, 2006-2008

2006-2008 (qualitative); Great Britain

Internet usage
Culture and traditions
Political attitudes and participation access

British Social Attitudes Survey


1983-ongoing; Great Britain, adults

Internet usage
Internet access
Newspaper readership
Television viewing
Telephone usage

Community Life Survey

2012-2013 onwards; adults in England

Internet use
Internet access

E-commerce survey

2000-2013: Secure access;  businesses in UK registered for VAT

In 2013:

Use of computers and computer networks ICT specialists and skills
Access and use of internet
Cloud computing
Internet connection Electronic invoicing E-commerce

Use of social media


1972 - ongoing; 27 European Union member states (28 with Croatia in 2013); repeated cross-sectional survey

Attitudes towards information
Internet access
Internet connection Experience of communication services

European Social Survey (ESS)

2002 - ongoing; c. 35 countries; repeated cross-sectional survey

Media access and exposure to political content
Trust in the media
Internet access

European and World Values Study (EVS/ WVS)

1981 - ongoing; c. 90 countries; repeated cross-sectional survey

Media access and exposure
PC and internet use
Information source for political affairs

European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS)

1990 - ongoing; c. 35 countries; repeated cross-sectional survey

Internet use for professional purposes

Growing Up in Scotland

2005- continuing; Scotland

Television viewing
Computer usage
Household internet access
Internet access control
Internet use for social interactions
Internet use for choosing child care

International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)

1985 – ongoing; c. 50 countries; repeated cross-sectional survey

Media access and exposure to political content

Labour Force Survey

1975-1983 biennial Annually from 1984; Quarterly from 1992;

Internet use
Problems using computers

Millennium Cohort Study

2000-continuing; United Kingdom

Internet usage
Social network usage

OECD Patent Statistics


1976- continuing; country level data

Innovation indicators
ICT patent data

OECD Telecommunications and Internet Statistics

1980- continuing; country level data

Wireless and broadband usage

Internet access to households,

individuals and businesses

Mobile and internet usage/subscribers

Access channels and traffic

Opinions and Lifestyle Survey

Internet Access Module, January, February and March, 2014; adults in Great Britain

Internet usage

Photographs Leave Home: a Study of the Impacts of Personal Photography Online, 2004-2005

2004-2005 (qualitative); United Kingdom

Photo blogs
Internet community

Police, the Media and their Audiences, 2006-2008

2006-2008 (mixed); Great Britain

Police-media relations
Police use of the media
Corporate communications structure
Media coverage
Media roles
Trust in the media Crime reporting
Management of public perception of police
Future direction of police communications policies

Political Communication and the Young Voter

1970, 1971, 1974. Longitudinal/panel; England

Media exposure
Newspaper readership
Broadcast use

Taking Part: the National Survey of Culture, Leisure and Sport

2006 – ongoing; England, adults and children aged 11-15

Internet use
Internet access

UNESCO Communication and Information Statistics

1995 onwards annual data, multi country

Broadcast institutions and channels
Library Statistics

Understanding Society

2009 – ongoing; (longitudinal) UK

Media usage
Computer usage
News usage

United Kingdom Children Go Online, 2003-2005

2003-2005 (mixed); United Kingdom

Internet access and use
Undesirable content Digital divide
identity and participation
Parental regulation

Virtually Second-Hand: a Case Study of eBay, the Internet Auction Site, 2004-2005

2004-2005 (qualitative); United Kingdom

Buying and selling practices
Online identity
Online communities

World Bank Africa Development Indicators

1960- continuing;
country level data

Communication infrastructure
Television usage
Radio usage
Telephone usage

World Bank World Development Indicators

1960- continuing;
country level data

Broadband subscriptions
ICT goods exports/imports
Internet usage
Mobile Subscriptions Internet servers

Other key data publishers

UK Statistics Authority

Data catalogue

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