Exploring our data

There are a range of tools and resources to help you get to know what content is available in our studies. These include:

  • CLS data collection documentation
  • UK Data Service study documentation
  • Data dictionaries at variable level
  • Research topic guides
  • CLOSER Discovery
  • CLS online bibliography

Find out more about these resources in this section.

CLS data collection documentation

Search our extensive range of data documentation, including questionnaires, user guides, and technical reports, to find out what’s covered in each data collection sweep and survey. You can explore these in our documentation library and also within our study pages:

UK Data Service study documentation

The following links will take you to the relevant area of the UK Data Service for each of our four studies:

These pages contain comprehensive user guides for each dataset, data dictionaries and the list of datasets that are available for access. For any questions on our cohort data (such as how to download data or find variables), or if you have any questions about the data you have downloaded, the UK Data Service Helpdesk will be able to direct you to the experts most able to provide the answers you need.

Data dictionaries at variable level 

Find the variables you need for your research project, using the CLS Excel data dictionaries. These enable you to search by variable name, research topic, questionnaire type, etc.

The UK Data Service also offers an online search platform for NCDS and BCS70 data deposited under End User Licence.



Next Steps:


Research topic guides 

Researchers have produced a range of topic-specific guides to the content available in our studies and other UK longitudinal studies.

A guide to the cognitive measures in five British birth cohort studies (CLOSER website)

A guide to the dietary data in eight CLOSER studies (CLOSER website)

Mental health:
Catalogue of Mental Health Measures (standalone website)

Physical activity:
Physical activity across age and study: a guide to data in six CLOSER studies (CLOSER website)

CLOSER Discovery

Information about CLS research questionnaires and variables is also searchable through CLOSER Discovery, an online platform that allows users to explore the content of multiple UK longitudinal studies.

The CLS studies documentation currently available in CLOSER Discovery covers most survey instruments, questions and variables for the the 1958 National Child Development Study, the 1970 British Cohort Study, Next Steps and the Millennium Cohort Study.

To check which data from each of our studies is included in Discovery, take a look at the content pages.

CLS online bibliography 

Our online bibliography includes published material based on our study data. This bibliography can help you and other researchers find out what work has already been done using our data. It also lets us know how useful the data are to the research community, which can help us to secure funding for the future of our studies.

Please do tell us about any of your work that uses our data (journal articles, books, reports, working papers, conference presentations, etc.) so that we can add it to the bibliography. You can email us via: clsdata@ucl.ac.uk.

Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL

Email: clsdata@ucl.ac.uk

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