BERA 2023: Learn more about CLOSER and our resources for researchers
Thank you for visiting our bespoke BERA 2023 conference page!
CLOSER, the home of longitudinal research, is the interdisciplinary partnership of leading social and biomedical longitudinal population studies, the UK Data Service and The British Library.
Our mission is to increase the visibility, use and impact of longitudinal population studies, data and research. We are funded by the UKRI Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and based in the UCL Social Research Institute.
Find out more about our free, online resources for researchers below!
Users can work through learning modules covering the basics of longitudinal population studies, study design, analysis techniques, data harmonisation, understanding metadata, and communicating your research.
The Hub also features teaching datasets and introductory exercises, and detailed research case studies exploring how longitudinal population studies can be used to investigate topics such as obesity, social mobility, and childhood bullying.
We’ve created a series of short ‘Getting started’ videos to introduce the Learning Hub and showcase how the different modules and case studies featured can support you in using longitudinal population studies as part of your own research. Watch the animations below:
Are you a researcher working with longitudinal population studies? Do you want to learn more about the policy landscape and how to get your research in front of policymakers?
Containing information, guidance and a set of bespoke trackers and templates, CLOSER’s Policy Hub aims to help longitudinal researchers understand more about the policy landscape and how to mobilise their research.
‘Our Changing Society’ provides researchers with detailed information about the historical and political backdrop to the lives of study participants.
It aims to facilitate more cross-cohort research and enable researchers to be more explicit about the circumstances and conditions that may be shaping and influencing people’s behaviours and life transitions.
CLOSER Discovery – the UK’s most detailed research tool for longitudinal data – allows users to search, explore and assess content from multiple UK longitudinal population studies.
Our Discovery platform contains metadata from 11 UK longitudinal population studies and includes:
- 190,000+variables (including 18,000+COVID-19 related variables)
CLOSER Discovery enables researchers to search through rich metadata, filtering by study, topic and life stage, to see which variables meet their research requirements. As well as variable metadata, Discovery shows how the data were collected through questions and questionnaires. In addition, all questions and variables are tagged to a common set of topics, making it easy to explore an area of interest.
Learn how to search and explore CLOSER Discovery
We’ve produced demo videos to help you get started using Discovery to search and explore longitudinal study metadata.
Follow the links below to watch on our YouTube channel:
Our cross-study data guides help researchers explore and compare the available measures on different research themes both within and across longitudinal population studies.
- Cognitive measures data: Discover the measures used to assess diverse aspects of cognition within and across five British birth cohort studies
- Dietary data: Learn about the dietary data and estimated nutrition intake information available within and across eight CLOSER partner studies
- Physical activity data: Explore the measures used to assess diverse aspects of physical activity within and across six CLOSER partner studies
Data harmonisation involves recording or modifying variables so that they are comparable across research studies. We have produced several harmonised datasets, which are available for researchers to download from the UK Data Service:
- Mental health: includes data from the 1946, 1958, 1970, 2000-01 British birth cohorts and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children
- Height, weight and body mass index: includes data from the 1946, 1958, 1970, 2000-01 British birth cohorts and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children
- Childhood adversity and adult wellbeing: includes data from the 1946, 1958, and 1958 British birth cohorts
- Occupation and education: includes data from the 1946, 1958, 1970, 2000-01 British birth cohorts
The UK’s longitudinal population studies adapted rapidly in response to COVID-19 by developing and launching special questionnaires for their participants to help understand the health, social, economic and behavioural impacts of the pandemic at both a national and regional level and across all generations and ages.
Since May 2020, we’ve been tracking COVID-19 longitudinal research and evidence from the UK and Ireland’s longitudinal population studies. Our COVID-19 Research Tracker brings together the latest briefing notes, reports, academic publications, and articles in an easy-to-use interactive tool.