Tuesday, 31 January 2012

British Secondary Data: Researching Housing and the Local Environment

Monday 26 March 2012
Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, London

This one-day workshop organised by the Economic and Social Data Service introduces British individual-level data ('microdata') that are available for re-analysis. The focus will be on data from surveys and the Census, with a particular emphasis on the English Housing Survey.

The day is aimed at those with little or no experience of the data. Participants will learn about the data available and their research potential, how to access data and where to go for help. There will also be a hands-on session to explore the English Housing Survey data online and in SPSS. Presenters are drawn from the Department of Communities and Local Government, Economic and Social Data Service, ESRC Census Programme and Centre for Longitudinal Studies.

This is one of a series of events being held in support of the ESRC's Secondary Data Analysis Initiative.

The workshop is free to attend and lunch will be provided. To view the programme and book a place please go to http://www.ccsr.ac.uk/esds/events/2012-03-26/

Introducing the European Social Survey (ESS) and the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP): Key resources for comparative research

Date: 22 March 2012
Location: London

Bookings are now open for a free workshop on two key cross-national social survey resources - the European Social Survey (ESS) and the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) - which will explore opportunities for secondary analysis using the data.

The workshop will describe the methodologies and coverage of the data, and provide a demonstration of how to analyse and access them online. The workshop will also include two expert presentations each showcasing recent research using the surveys.

This is one of a series of events, organised by ESDS, in support of the ESRC's Secondary Data Analysis Initiative. These events are designed for researchers who are not current users of these ESRC-funded data resources, and who wish to apply for grants under this Initiative. It is not suitable for students.

This course is free to attend but booking is essential. Cancellations must be received within 5 working days of the event, otherwise a cancellation fee of £25 will be charged. See details and booking form at the link below.:

Friday, 27 January 2012

Warning - Scam census email

Statement from Director of the 2011 Census, Glen Watson, Friday 27 January 2012.

Email Scam

We are aware that an email entitled 'Population Census: a message to everyone - act now' is being circulated, allegedly in the name of National Statistician, Jil Matheson. This email demands individuals provide further personal information, supposedly for the Census and threatens fines for non-compliance.

This email is a scam and a hoax. It has no connection whatsoever with the National Statistician, the 2011 Census or the Office for National Statistics.

We believe the links in the email could download malware to any computer where the user clicks on the links. This could put your personal data, including financial information, at risk.

Anyone receiving this, or similar emails, should delete them, not open any links and certainly not provide any information.

For more information on how to protect yourself from this type of threat, please see www.getsafeonline.org

If you wish to, please report receipt of any such suspicious emails to www.actionfraud.org.uk

ONS takes the protection of personal census information extremely seriously. Collection of census data was completed last year and no further requests will be forthcoming from the Office for National Statistics relating to the 2011 Census.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Webinar: Introducation to ESDS

Title: Introducing ESDS data
Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM GMT

Supporting the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative
This hour-long webinar will showcase a range of datasets and supporting materials available free of charge through the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) along with case studies that demonstrate how they can be used to develop high-impact research. Participants are encouraged to share their research interests and data questions in advance in order to customise content.

This is also an opportunity to learn more about the logistics of finding, downloading and analysing ESDS datasets, specifically covering catalogue records, data documentation, guides, and online data visualisation tools such as Nesstar.

This is one of a series of events being run in support of the ESRC's Secondary Data Analysis Initiative. These events are designed for researchers who are not current users of these ESRC-funded data resources, and who wish to apply for grants under this Initiative.

This webinar is free to attend but registration is essential.
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Opinions and Lifestyle Survey user meeting

Wednesday 21 March 2012, 9.30am – 1.00pm
Royal Statistical Society, Errol Street, London, EC1Y 8LX

ESDS Government has organised this half-day Opinions and Lifestyle Survey user meeting which will comprise a number of papers from users of the current ONS Opinions Survey and the General Lifestyle Survey. The user meeting will also provide users with valuable information from ONS on the content and methodology of the new Opinions and Lifestyle Survey that will be created in 2012 as a result of merging the ONS Opinions survey with some of the previous General Lifestyle Survey questions. For more information on this please see the ONS website at http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/about-ons/consultations/closed-consultations/2011/the-future-of-the-glf-survey/index.html.

The meeting is free to attend. To view the programme and book a place please go to www.ccsr.ac.uk/esds/events/2012-03-21/

Living Costs and Food Survey user meeting

Tuesday 20 March 2012
Royal Statistical Society, Errol Street, London, EC1Y 8LX

This meeting, organised by the Economic and Social Data Service, will provide a forum for data users and producers to meet and discuss new developments and exchange information about the Living Costs and Food Survey. The programme contains a mixture of papers from data producers and researchers.

The meeting is free to attend and lunch is provided. To view the programme and book a place please go to www.ccsr.ac.uk/esds/events/2012-03-20/

BHPS user support

Support for users of the British Household Panel Study can now be found at http://data.understandingsociety.org.uk/documentation/support

Using Census Microdata

29 February 2012
Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, University of Manchester

Description:  This event will provide users with an introduction to two types of census microdata; SARs data which takes a sample of census respondents at a single time and longitudinal data which follows a sample of respondents over time.

During the day participants will hear about the unique and key features of the data, how they compare with other datasets, how they can used to answer research questions and get the opportunity to use both types of data in hands-on sessions.

Organiser/Chair: Rachel Stuchbury works within the Centre for Longitudinal Study Information and User Support (CeLSIUS) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Where she is extending the distance-based learning and web resources and also provides advice and data extracts to users of the Longitudinal Studies.

Jo Wathan supports the Samples of Anonymised Records at the Centre for Census and Survey Research at the University of Manchester. She has been a member of the SARs team since 2001 where she has worked on setting up, documenting, supporting and promoting use of the SARs

Level: Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)

Cost: The fee is: 1. £30 - For UK registered postgraduate students 2. £60 - For staff at UK academic institutions, ESRC funded researchers and registered charity organisations 3. £220 - For all other participants. All fees include event materials, lunch, morning and afternoon tea. They do not include travel and accommodation costs.


Jacqui Thorp
Training Administrator
National Centre for Research Methods
University of Southampton
Tel: 023 8059 4069
Email: jmh6@soton.ac.uk

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

ESDS Case Studies linked to Catalogue

The ESDS' library of 80 case studies is now linked to the data collections in the ESDS catalogue.

This means that when you search for a specific dataset, you will see case studies based on that data automatically appear on the right side of the catalogue record. For an  example, see this catalogue page for the Edwardians. You will also see relevant case studies appear on the ESDS major studies pages e.g. British Social Attitudes Survey list of datasets.

Related case studies will also appear on the right side of the web pages for ESDS Longitudinal datasets. For example, see the guide to the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

The entire library of ESDS case studies is also available in an easy-to-use faceted search interface, developed using Simile Exhibit, an open source application that harnesses the power of semantic web technology.

RLAB Stata Journal Available

For RLAB staff, the new release of the Stata Journal 2011_4 has been released and is available via the RLAB library

ADLS portal

The Portal of the Administrative Data Liaison Service (www.adls.ac.uk/padls) is a new online development designed to hold methods, models and code used in administrative data research.  The aim of P-ADLS is to improve the consistency, quality and quantity of administrative data related research by allowing researchers to view, replicate and develop existing resources. 

There are currently over fifty resources in the P-ADLS Bank.  As examples, recent submissions shared by researchers include code to help define avoidable mortality and code to distinguish disabling and limiting health conditions.

The ADLS are keen to continue to expand  the resources already held in the P-ADLS Bank.   As it is recognised that the preparation and sharing of code requires goodwill, time and effort, the ADLS are currently offering a £20 Amazon gift token for code submissions that are subsequently published.  Full details on how to submit resources and offer terms are available from the link above.  

The P-ADLS Bank is also a useful way to highlight your research work amongst the academic community.  All new resources added by you to the P-ADLS Bank will be tweeted by the ADLS.  You can sign up to receive these tweets by following us at  http://twitter.com/#!/adlstweet.

As this is a new development, the ADLS would welcome your thoughts and comments.  If you need any further information then please contact me the ADLS manager: 
Darren Lightfoot, 
Email: ADLS@st-andrews.ac.uk 
Telephone: 01334 46 3901
Web: www.adls.ac.uk

Measuring National Well-being

A joint meeting of the Official Statistics and Social Statistics Sections will take place on

8th March 2012 at 5pm with tea/coffee from 4.30pm, at the RSS, 12 Errol Street EC1Y 8LX

Paul Allin, Director: Measuring National Well-being (MNW) programme, Office for National Statistics

Charles Seaford, Head of the Centre for Well-being, New Economics Foundation, will respond as a discussant.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Measuring National Well-being (MNW) programme aims to develop and publish an accepted and trusted set of National Statistics to understand and monitor well-being.

The programme was launched in November 2010 with a national debate on ‘What matters to you?’ to improve understanding of what should be included in measures of the nation’s well-being. Further information on the programme is at http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/user-guidance/well-being/index.html

ONS has been undertaking  a consultation seeking views on a proposed set of domains (aspects of national well-being) and headline indicators which were outlined in the discussion paper “Measuring National Well-being - Discussion paper on domains and measures” (31 October 2011). The domains and indicators were developed from responses to the national debate, research into well-being and international initiatives.

In addition, ONS have recently released initial experimental results looking at individuals assessments of their own well-being, collected via ONS’s Opinions survey.

Attendance is free and open to all, but pre-registration is recommended. You can register by email meetings@rss.org.uk or by phone (020) 7638 8998
For further information about the meeting contact Charles Lound or David Matz (charles.lound@ons.gsi.gov.uk or david.matz@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk)

Friday, 6 January 2012

Methodological challenges associated with Non-Response and Missing Data in ageing populations

3rd February 2012 11:00-16:30
Institute for Social & Economic Research (ISER), Social Science Research Centre, room 2N2.4.16, University of Essex

The workshop brings together researchers and experts from different cohort and longitudinal studies with a common interest in dealing with the complexities of non-response and missing data. The workshop includes demonstrations using new software (Stata 12), as well as presentations from major ageing cohort studies. 

Topics and speakers include (the speaker list may change on the day):

11:00-11:45 Shaun Scoles, Centre for Applied Health Research, UCL Practical issues related to non-response, weighting and imputation in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

11:45-12:30 Jonathan Bartlett, Department of Medical Statistics, LSHTM A demonstration of multiple imputation approaches and methods using Stata 12

12:30-13:15 Rebecca Landy, MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, UCL A simulation of 1946 birth cohort data using three different missing data mechanisms- complete case, multiple imputation and Heckman selection.

13:15-14:00 Lunch

14:00-14:45 Paul Clarke, CMPO, University of Bristol Adjusting for non-ignorable non-response in a longitudinal analysis of residential mobility

14:45-15:30 Jenny Head, Whitehall II study, UCL  Joint modelling approaches to analysing health decline in studies with informative drop-out

15:30-15:45 Tea and coffee break

15:45-16:30 Peter Lynn, ISER, University of Essex Influences on response rates amongst older respondents in household panel surveys

The workshop is free for participants to attend but registration is essential. Workshop attendees can claim travel expenses. Please book a place using the booking form below:

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

NHS Lifestyle Surveys Consultation

The NHS Information Centre (IC) publishes the following Lifestyles survey publications: 

The findings are used to provide an insight into the health and behaviour of people in England. The longevity of the surveys also enables changing trends to be studied over time. They can be used to help decision makers improve policies and services and ultimately improve the health of population in this country.

The NHS IC has launched a public consultation on the Lifestyles surveys with the following aims:

  • to engage with the users of the surveys to develop a more complete understanding of the use made of this data
  • to ensure the surveys are relevant and meaningful to the needs of users
  • to seek the views of users on the content and format of the publications

This consultation will run for 12 weeks from Friday 30 December 2011 to Friday 23 March 2012. Please ensure you submit any comments prior to the closing date so they can be considered.

Further details, along with the full consultation document are available at

If you would like to know more about the consultation or if you have any queries, please contact the Lifestyles Statistics Section Head: 

Paul Eastwood
Telephone: 0113 254 2509

Business Microdata Workshop

Researchers interested to know more about how business microdata might expand or accelerate their work are invited to a free workshop in London. The Secure Data Service, a partner of both the UK Data Archive and the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), is hosting the workshop in support of the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative.

The half-day event, set for 21 February 2012 from 13.00 to 16.00, will be moved to the Medical Research Council offices in London to accommodate additional researchers.

The programme will provide an introduction to the range of business data made available to qualified and approved researchers through the Secure Data Service. This data is collected by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and other government agencies. These data are confidential and collected under statistics legislation. Because they are highly identifiable, they can only be accessed under secure conditions. Attendees will learn how the Secure Data Service works, including details on how to apply. There will also be a surgery session to respond to user needs and questions.

This is one of a series of events organised by ESDS in support of the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative. These events are designed for researchers who are not current users of these ESRC-funded data resources, and who wish to apply for grants under this Initiative. It is not suitable for students.

The course is free to attend, but booking is essential. See details and booking form at the link below: