Finding out what’s in our data

To help researchers find out more about the data from our cohort studies, we have an extensive range of documentation available, including study questionnaires, user guides, technical reports, and data notes.  These documents cover things like what topics were covered, the wording of the questions used, how each variable was coded, how derived variables were constructed, how the data were collected and much more. They can all be found in the study sweep pages of this website.

This documentation is also available from the UK Data Service, within the data deposit for each study sweep. Researchers can also explore specific questions and variables through the Discover platform of the UK Data Service.

Some of our data are also searchable through the online platform CLOSER Discovery. CLOSER Discovery is an online resource which allows users to search and locate variables across multiple UK longitudinal studies for research purposes. The CLS studies and sets of variables currently available in Discovery include:

  • 1958 National Child Development Study: all survey instruments, questions and variables from the birth sweep to age 33.
  • 1970 British Cohort Study: all survey instruments, questions and variables from the birth sweep to age 16.
  • Millennium Cohort Study: all survey paper self-completion instruments, questions and variables from age 5 to age 11.

The full list of survey instruments and variables currently available on CLOSER Discovery can be found on the wiki. 

CLOSER Discovery aims to include the remaining survey instruments, questions and variables for these three CLS studies in the future. Our Next Steps study is currently being added into Discovery and will be available soon.

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 will be able to direct you to the experts most able to provide the answers you need.

Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL