New data added to CLOSER Discovery

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Researchers can now search and explore new data in CLOSER Discovery – the UK’s most detailed search engine for longitudinal population studies – with the addition of over 12,000 new variables.  

This latest update to the platform adds over 3,500 variables from the Wirral Child Health and Development Study (WCHADS) and over 4,000 variables from the 1958 and 1970 British birth cohort studies to CLOSER Discovery.   

Over 4,800 variables from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) are also ready to be explored. This addition means researchers can now discover 30 years of ALSPAC study data, spanning from 1990 to 2020. 

CLOSER Discovery enables researchers to view and assess data from leading longitudinal population studies, with options to search by keyword or explore by topic. Each search result provides a summary of the variables available, the question on which a variable is based, and its lineage within the questionnaire. Users are also able to filter their search results by study, topic, and life stage, making it easy to explore specific areas of interest. 

CLOSER Discovery in numbers - 11 studies, 300+ questionnaires, 100+ data sweeps, 49,000+ variables, 4,500+ COVID-19 questions & 18,000+ COVID-19 variable

WCHADS data in CLOSER Discovery  

The inclusion of additional data collections from WCHADS means that CLOSER Discovery now contains data and questionnaire metadata from phases 1 to 9 of the study. 

Set up in 2006, WCHADS (known as The First Steps Study by its participants) follows the lives of more than 1,000 children growing up in the Wirral in North West England to explore why some children develop behavioural problems from an early age and which factors lead to those issues persisting.  

Topics covered in WCHADS include social media use; friendships, bullying and isolation; physical activity levels and physical development; risky behaviours and physical and psychological changes associated with puberty. Our latest blog from Stuart Kehl (WCHADS Research Technician) delves into the study, recent findings, and COVID-19 response.

How do I start using CLOSER Discovery?  

For those new to using CLOSER Discovery, two short videos provide step-by-step instructions for how you can use the search by keyword and explore by topic functions.  

Help improve CLOSER Discovery 

CLOSER Discovery relies on feedback from users to improve its functionality and utility. If you notice errors, experience problems, or have suggestions for useful features, please contact us via email closer@ucl.ac.uk 

Further information