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Bridging the administrative data gap: supporting researchers and data custodians at the Administrative Data Research Network

Presenter 1
Kakia Chatsiou
Administrative Data Research Network
Presenter 2
Carlotta Greci
Administrative Data Research Network
Presenter 3
John Sanderson
Administrative Data Research Network
Presenter 4
Linda Winsor
Administrative Data Research Network

Researchers go an extra mile to access administrative data in the UK: administrative databases are operational records and need to be processed and documented prior to using them for research. There is no support mechanism for users of administrative data -- there is researchers quite often don't know how to access and analyse administrative data and have to negotiate access with depositors themselves. Support staff working in the administrative data setting supporting researchers need a variety of skills, too. Having a good knowledge of the data is not sufficient - staff need to be approachable and proficient in translating requirements, mediating and negotiating access and thinking laterally to solve any problems arising. Finally, legal pathways to access for research purposes are still in development and quite often vary between different data custodians. The Administrative Data Research Network is a UK-wide partnership between universities, government departments and agencies, national statistics authorities, funders and the wider research community aiming to bridge these barriers. This paper will describe how the ADRN User Services team have been bringing together academic, government and third sector researchers, data custodians and data professionals to enable access of linked, de-identified administrative data for research in the UK.

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