Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

UK wide analysis

The SLS covers Scotland only. However, similar studies exist for England and Wales (ONS LS) and Northern Ireland (NILS), opening the possibility of UK-wide analysis. The design of the three LSs is similar but there are important differences, such as the sampling fraction, which must be taken into account.

Due to Data Protection concerns, the current agreements in place for the SLS and other LSs mean that it is not possible to access LS data outwith its respective safe-setting. This means that to-date it has not been possible to fully combine datasets to allow comparisons between regions or to create a UK-wide sample.  Instead the only option has been to conduct separate analyses and then compare or combine the results on an ad-hoc basis. A paper detailing early work on this issue is available here  (PDF 59KB).

However, work in the SLS-DSU by Prof Gillian Raab has resulted in a new methodology which means it is now possible to analyse data from one or more LS as though they were part of the same dataset. This is achieved through a process called eDatashield, which is currently able to support all forms of GLM regression analyses.

If you are interested in finding out more about eDatashield or would like to discuss using more than one LS for your study, please contact CALLS Hub.

Explore the variables held in the SLS data dictionary.

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