How do I access the data?

All available NCDS data can be accessed through the UK Data Service at the University of Essex.

Step 1: Register with the UK Data Service

The UK Data Service uses federated access management (shibboleth) user authentication. If you belong to an academic institution, you should already have a username and password. If you do not belong to an academic institution, see instructions for registration on the UK Data Service website.

You will be asked to fill out an online registration form with details of your project and agree to inform the UK Data Service of any outputs from your research.


Step 2: Check data version history

Check the version history page of the UK Data Service website for complete list of all the NCDS data available from UK Data Service and dates of most recent releases and updates.

It’s important to check the version history from time to time, as new versions of existing datasets are sometimes deposited, which supersede those previously issued.
 

Step 3: Log in to access data

Once you’ve got your username and password, visit the UK Data Service login page. From there you can download data and documentation in a variety of formats or order a copy on CD-ROM.

When you’re logged in, you can also use the NESSTAR facility to see the value labels and frequency counts of each NCDS variable. By clicking the ‘NESSTAR’ icon in the ‘Explore Online’ column, you can run simple crosstabulations, and produce histograms and pie charts.

Some data such as low level geography are only available under a special licence, which imposes certain restrictions on the handling and usage of the data. To access this data, you will need to complete a Special Licence Access form.


Step 4: Cite and acknowledge use of the data

You must cite all data files used in your analysis. For more information on the requirements for citation, see the UK Data Service End User Licence.

The appropriate form of the citation appears in the ‘Bibliographic citation’ section of the ‘Study information and citation’ document that accompanies each dataset or bundle of datasets (i.e. per UK Data Service SN). This can be found in the ‘Study description’ section of the appropriate SN if it was not downloaded.

Example citation:

University of London. UCL Institute of Education. Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Millennium Cohort Study: First Survey, 2001-2003 [computer file]. 6th Edition. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive [distributor], March 2007. SN: 4683.
 

You must also acknowledge CLS in any published work using data from the 1958 cohort. An example of an appropriate acknowledgement would be:

“I am grateful to the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), UCL Institute of Education for the use of these data and to the UK Data Service for making them available. However, neither CLS nor the UK Data Service bear any responsibility for the analysis or interpretation of these data.”

 

Step 5: Tell us about your research

We ask all researchers to inform us of any publications resulting from the use of cohort data (journal articles, books, reports, working papers, conference presentations, etc.). CLS maintains an online database of all published material based on cohort study data.

The database helps other researchers avoid duplication by showing what work has already been done. It also lets us know how useful the data is to the research community, which can help to secure funding for the future of these studies.

You can contact us at clsfeedback@ioe.ac.uk.

       
Tell us about your research

We ask researchers to contact us whenever they publish research using the cohort data. With up-to-date records, we can help other researchers avoid duplication and also demonstrate to funders how useful the data is to the research community.

Useful links