Obesity e-Lab: connecting social science via research objects

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • External authors:
  • Shoaib Sufi
  • Sarah Thew
  • Ian Dunlop
  • Urara Hiroeh
  • Dexter Canoy
  • Georgina Moulton
  • Angela Dale


Despite a progressive approach to open access datasets, Social Science does not routinely capture and re-use its research processes. This is a barrier to inter-disciplinary research. The public health problem of obesity, with its interwoven social, behavioural and biomedical factors, illustrates the need for more sharable research processes facilitating insights across disciplines. Within this broad need we have identified the central requirement to support secondary research from large surveys such as the Health Surveys for England – a requirement that generalises to other social research topics. We present the e-Laboratory (e-Lab) architecture, for bringing together datasets, investigators and methods around specific questions and packaging the research process into a sharable entity – the Research Object (RO). The Obesity e-Lab project is using obesity research questions and communities to generate a variety of ROs supporting, for example, information mapping between different survey years, transformation of child body mass index measures into research-ready forms, and geo-visualisation of obesity measurements and models. Our collaborators are building e-Labs in other disciplines including biology, health sciences and chemistry. By participating in a programme of building different but interoperable e-Labs, Social Science could stimulate and sustain new research with other disciplines – exporting, importing and coproducing ROs.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationhost publication
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2009
Event5th International Conference on e-Social Science - Cologne
Event duration: 24 Jun 200926 Jun 2009


Conference5th International Conference on e-Social Science