Introduction to CLOSER: Longitudinal resources for teaching and research

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Workshop

This session provided delegates with an overview of CLOSER and our work within the longitudinal research community. It also introduced longitudinal studies and their value to academic and government activity.

The UK is home to the world’s largest and longest-running longitudinal studies. Following the lives of generations of Britons, these rich resources have been used for decades to answer some of the most pressing questions facing our society. Inequality, social mobility, parenting, children’s outcomes, health, education, employment, ageing – the possible areas for investigation are endless.

These resources are increasing in value year on year – new survey data is collected from participants, and older data is repaired using new methods. But some of the most exciting developments are in resources for cross-study comparisons. Studies in the CLOSER consortium are leading efforts to harmonise data across studies, link survey responses to administrative records, and – crucially – enhance the discoverability of meta data through a new search platform.

 

Session 1: Introduction to CLOSER and the use & impact of the UK’s longitudinal resources

This session provided delegates with an overview of CLOSER and our work within the longitudinal research community. It also introduced longitudinal studies and their value to academic and government activity.

Session 2: Resources for longitudinal research

The second part of the workshop explored CLOSER’s range of longitudinal resources and highlighted opportunities for life course and intergenerational research. The session covered the following:

  • CLOSER Learning Hub demonstration
  • CLOSER Discovery demonstration
  • CLOSER’s work on data harmonisation and linkage

CLOSER Learning Hub demonstration

The first part of this session introduced the CLOSER Learning Hub, a new online teaching resource aimed at a non-expert and interdisciplinary audience.

www.learning.closer.ac.uk

CLOSER Discovery demonstration

www.discovery.closer.ac.uk

The second part of this session included a demonstration of CLOSER Discovery, an innovative new search engine that enables researchers to explore the content of eight leading UK longitudinal studies. It is the most detailed and sophisticated search tool of its kind.

Harmonising and linking data

In addition to making longitudinal data more discoverable, CLOSER is working to enhance the data for research purposes. It has focused on harmonising commonly used measures within and across studies, as well as facilitating linkage of study data to administrative records. This short session provided a brief overview of CLOSER’s work in these areas, including forthcoming harmonised datasets to be deposited at the UK Data Service, and current and planned linkages.

Photography

From time to time we take photographic images to illustrate CLOSER events for future promotional activity. By registering for this event you give us permission to use these images to promote CLOSER. Please email closer@ucl.ac.uk if you wish to withdraw your consent.

Presentation slides

Contact

If you have any queries or require further information, please contact Jennie Blows (j.blows@ucl.ac.uk).

Speakers

  • Professor Alison Park photo

    Professor Alison Park,

    Director, CLOSER

    As Director of the CLOSER programme (Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources) I am responsible for making sure that it maximises the use, value and impact of the UK's longitudinal studies.

    My wider research and teaching focuses on social and political attitudes and behaviour and how these are changing over time, and on survey research methods more generally. Prior to joining UCL Institute of Education, I worked at NatCen Social Research where I designed, resourced and carried out commission and grant-funded social research, with a particular focus on survey research.