Preparing for the future of longitudinal science

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CLOSER has hosted three Preparing for the future collaborative conferences to date – in 2018, 2020, and 2022. Over the three events, representatives of longitudinal population studies from around the world have met to unearth best practice, and identify ways to tackle shared challenges.

The 2018 and 2020 events both took place in-person in London. The 2022 conference was held online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Future challenges facing longitudinal community

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

  • New forms of data collection (2018, 2020, 2022): the potential of new technology, and the skills and knowledge needed to harness these opportunities.
  • Data linkage (2018, 2020, 2022): the solutions needed to overcome practical barriers to realise the potential of linking administrative and survey data.
  • Policy impact and engagement (2018, 2022): the need to build better relationships with policymakers, and document the contributions of longitudinal evidence and data to policy development.
  • Data harmonisation (2018, 2020): the scientific value of retrospective and prospective harmonisation, and the importance of collaboration in achieving this.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on longitudinal population studies (2022):  the learnings from moving to new or different data collection methods, remote collection of biological samples, and trialling virtual visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Participant and public engagement (2022): the need for creative strategies for engaging participants, key stakeholders and the general public.
  • Data discoverability (2020): the role of infrastructure in making data more findable and useable for secondary analyses.
  • Reducing attrition and participant engagement (2020): strategies for retaining the interest and participation of study members and their families.
  • Biosample management (2018): the role of collective action in making the most of precious, exhaustible resources.

Conference reports

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

Preparing for the future III

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