Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

Synthetic data

Even functionally safe – adhering to the 5 Safes principles – anonymised data (like the SLS) may allow individuals to be identified.  Thus access to the SLS is restricted to trained and accredited researchers who must carry out their analysis under supervision in our SLS Safe Setting.

To improve the accessibility of the SLS we are now offering two synthetic data products. These are:

  • Synthetic spine data 

This is a single dataset with five variables from each of the 2001 and 2011 Censuses.  This is available along with comparable data from our sister studies ONS LS and NILS from CALLS-Hub

  • Bespoke synthetic extracts

SLS users who cannot easily visit the safe setting in Edinburgh can request a synthetic extract to develop their analysis code.

More information on these can be found on the following pages:  ‘What are synthetic data?’ and ‘How are synthetic data created?’

NOTE: These products will not give exactly the same results as the real data and their output should never be used in publication.


Explore the variables held in the SLS data dictionary.

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