Preparing for the future of longitudinal science

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In 2018 and 2020, CLOSER hosted its Preparing for the future collaborative conferences in London. Over 40 longitudinal population studies from around the world met to unearth best practice, and identify ways to tackle shared challenges.

Future challenges facing longitudinal community

Delegates from across the social and biomedical sciences came together to deliberate over key issues facing longitudinal population studies now and in the future. In a set of solutions-focused discussions, the delegates addressed shared opportunities and challenges in several areas:

  • New forms of data collection: the potential of new technology, and the skills and knowledge needed to harness these opportunities.
  • Data harmonisation: the scientific value of retrospective and prospective harmonisation, and the importance of collaboration in achieving this.
  • Data linkage: the solutions needed to overcome practical barriers to realise the potential of linking administrative and survey data.
  • Data discoverability: the role of infrastructure in making data more findable and useable for secondary analyses.
  • Reducing attrition and participant engagement: strategies for retaining the interest and participation of study members and their families.
  • Biosample management: the role of collective action in making the most of precious, exhaustible resources.
  • Policy impact and engagement: the need to build better relationships with policymakers, and document the contributions of longitudinal evidence and data to policy development.

Conference report

The conference reports document the discussions, and the actions proposed by delegates to address key challenges, and fill knowledge and skills gaps. The Executive Summary provides an overview of the key points raised.

Preparing for the future I

Preparing for the future II

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