Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

How to access SLS synthetic data

The synthetic SLS spine data set is available online

SLS bespoke synthetic datasets can be requested during the SLS application procedure and will be created once the project has been approved by the SLS Research Board.

Before receiving the SLS bespoke synthetic dataset ALL members of the research team will be asked to undertake appropriate Safe Researcher Training (SURE) and to sign the SLS-Undertaking Form Synthetic Data.

  • The dataset will not be released until ALL the research team have undergone Safe Researcher Training and the undertaking form has been signed by ALL members of the research team

Once all the approvals are in place the dataset will be emailed to the lead researcher in an encrypted format.

The creation of good quality synthetic data can be a complex task and this may restrict what and when we can provide.  The following limitations apply:

  • Priority will usually be given to users who cannot easily visit the safe setting.
  • If your extract has many variables we may ask you to select a subset for your synthetic data (i.e. do some initial data preparation/management deriving variables for the synthesis).
  • SLS person and family identifiers will not be included in the synthetic data.
  • If your extract includes several files you will be linking together via identifiers, then you will not at present be able to link the synthetic data.  However, once you have linked the real data a synthetic version of the linked data can be provided.
  • We now have general permission from PBPP to provide synthetic versions of NHS data, such as hospital admissions.  However, intention to create a synthetic extract should be highlighted in the PBPP form.

Explore the variables held in the SLS data dictionary.

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