Harmonised data sources
Individual longitudinal population studies may provide harmonised data directly to researchers at the point of download.
See whether the study or studies you are interested in have already generated harmonised data relevant to your research question by checking their available data on their website or where the data is stored (e.g. the UK Data Service). If harmonised data is available, it is normally outlined in the dataset description or documentation.
This could be data harmonised across the separate waves or sweeps of data collection in that study, so the data can be compared over time. For example:
- The main data files for Understanding Society include the harmonised data from 18 waves of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), the study which preceded Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study
Alternatively, the files could contain the study data in a format that can be easily harmonised with other data. For example:
- The data from a sub-study of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) called the Harmonised Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP) is available in a format that is harmonised with other HCAP studies, so it can be easily merged and compared to these other data sources.
Other data sources
There are also projects and organisations that generate and hold harmonised data from multiple longitudinal population or other types of studies. Harmonised data or derivation code is sometimes provided for download directly from these organisations, or guidance is given on where the harmonised data can be accessed.
Explore some of these harmonised data sources below:
CLOSER has produced four datasets of harmonised variables across several CLOSER partner studies on different themes:
- Height, Weight, and BMI
- Socio-economic measures
- Childhood environment and adult wellbeing
- Mental health in childhood
The Gateway to Global Aging Data creates and makes available survey specific harmonised data sets containing a subset of the survey data with variables defined to be as comparable as possible between surveys and over time. The Gateway also provides searchable metadata for the included studies and information about cross-study concordance and comparability.
The Gateway to Global Aging Data is developed and maintained by the Program on Global Aging, Health, and Policy at the University of Southern California Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, USA.
A user package of equivalently defined variables for nine general population household panel surveys, including studies in the UK (BHPS & UKHLS), Australia (HILDA), South Korea (KLIPS), USA (PSID), Russia (RLMS), Switzerland (SHP), Canada (SLID), Germany (SOEP), and Japan (JHPS). Researchers can access harmonised, cross-national data, but there may be a cost associated with access.
Open science project to harmonise major household panel surveys from seven countries: Australia (HILDA), Germany (SOEP), UK (BHPS & UKHLS), South Korea (KLIPS), Russia (RLMS), Switzerland (SHP), and the USA (PSID). CPF provides open-source code that can be used to construct a comparative dataset based on the original data from the included panel studies and was developed to extend and popularise the approach used in the CNEF.
An international team focusing on finding practical solutions to some of the challenges faced by epidemiological research collaborations. Their online Catalogue contains information about epidemiological research networks and studies, and the data they have collected, including harmonised data.
The Harmonization Initiatives section of the Catalogue includes an inventory of harmonisation initiatives, where users can also access lists of harmonised variables, learn about the harmonisation potential across studies, and see the data processing applied to generate the harmonised data.
Provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the social science research community. ICPSR maintains a data archive of more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioural sciences, including data harmonised within and across studies.