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Enabling data linkage in CLOSER studies

About the research

This project focused on helping cohort and longitudinal studies overcome barriers to data linkage and highlighted ways of linking study data to routine health records, including detailed discussions with key stakeholders such as NHS Digital and the studies.

Guidance on data linkage was disseminated through knowledge exchange workshops (listed below). CLOSER resource reports were also produced for researchers, offering guidance and methodology on linking longitudinal data to health records.

Professor Andy Boyd

Research lead

Andy Boyd (ALSPAC, University of Bristol)

Studies used

Research outputs

CLOSER resource reports

CLOSER workshops


  • Boyd A, Christen P, Dibben C, Elliot M, O’Keefe CM. Starting with the End in Mind: A Functional Framework for Record Linkage. To be published via the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge. Not yet available – sign up to CLOSER’s email newsletters to find out when it is published.
  • McGrail K, Jones K, Akbari A, Bennett T, Boyd A, Carinci F, Cui X, Denaxas S, Douhall N, Ford D, Ghali W, Kirby R, Kum H-C, Moorin R, Moran R, O’Keefe C, Preen D, Quan H, Sanmartini C, Schull M, Smith M, Williams C, Williamson T, Wyper G, Kotelchuck M. A Position Statement on Population Data Science: The Science of Data about People. International Journal of Population Data Science. 2018:3(4).
  • Boyd A, Gatewood J, Thorson S, Dye T. Data Diplomacy. Science & Diplomacy. 2019;8(1). Available at:

Read about other CLOSER data linkage projects.