The Administrative Data Research Network was an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 to July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, which was launched at the end of 2018.

Visit the Administrative Data Research Partnership for further information. 

This archival website reflects the state of play at the end of the project in July 2018. All content has been frozen and may not be up to date.

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You can find a list of our current research projects here.

As well as giving trained researchers access to administrative data, the Administrative Data Research Centre for Scotland will carry out its own research, including:

  • how data collections can be brought together in a technical sense so they can be used to their full potential – which will also mean making sure they can be linked across sectors and different countries’ legal systems
  • generating public trust in the Centre’s aims and mechanisms using in-depth reviews of literature, interviews and focus groups
  • bringing together Aberdeen Children of the Nineteen Fifties (ACONF) data and oral history data to add a real sense of the experience of growing up in Scotland in the 20th century
  • public engagement events to bring together researchers and up to 1,000 of the original ACONF children. This will help us understand the data better and put it in the context of living in Aberdeen during a time of great social change
  • linking data where we believe records relate to each other, but aren’t sure
  • matching modern address data with less precise historical geographical details
  • discovering how to extract information from ‘unstructured text’ – for example, analysing social workers’ case notes to understand the actions they took, even when these are described in different ways, without identifying the clients
  • how to create synthetic data – that is, simulated data that don’t correspond to any real individuals or organisations, but give us the same information

Four projects in particular will look at new ways that different administrative data collections can be used together:

  • Incomes, benefits and work: using data from the Department of Work and Pensions and HMRC to understand people’s living standards and socio-economic status in neighbourhoods. This will help in understanding where local governments should be targeting resources
  • Mental ability surveys and other data: linking the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947 to other health and social science administrative data to understand what influences people’s social mobility, health and independence in later life
  • Informal care and health and well-being: Much of the care and support provided in the UK today is not through formal social or health services but informally, by family or even friends. Data from benefit records (such as carers’ allowance and local authority social care records), plus the Scottish Health Survey and Scottish Household Survey, can help us to understand how being a carer can affect people in terms of economic hardship and well-being
  • Parental mental health and their children’s education: Our understanding of the effects of parents’ mental illness on their children’s development is based on small-scale studies. We want to bring together the School Census and administrative data on school absences, exclusions and exam results to try to create a much clearer, broader picture

Page last updated: 25/07/2018