Data linkage for research in Scotland

Data linkage allows for the true value of our existing data to be realised.

Public engagement and consultation

The Scottish Government is committed to engaging and consulting with the public on data sharing and linkage practice. A number of initiatives have been undertaken to support this, including the commissioning of two research projects to investigate public acceptability surrounding data sharing and linkage (undertaken by Ipsos MORI in partnership with the Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh) and stakeholder consultation around the development of a Data Linkage Framework. We endeavour to ensure lay-person representation in any work we undertake and are always looking for opportunities to ensure public engagement around data sharing and linkage.

Reports outlining the findings of our public acceptability work can be found here:

Public Acceptability of Data Sharing Between the Public, Private and Third Sectors for Research Purposes

This report outlines findings on public attitude towards data sharing. The research builds upon previous work (below) and primarily focuses on a) public opinion around data sharing with the private and third sectors; b) the acceptability of different benefit-sharing methods as a result of using publicly-held data ; c) the appeal of different methods for empowering citizens in decision making about the use of publicly-held data.

Public Acceptability of Cross-Sectoral Data Linkage

A series of public deliberative events were undertaken as part of the Data Linkage Framework consultation. The overall aim of the work was to explore the acceptability of linking personal data for statistical and research purposes, thereby identifying particular sensitivities and exploring mechanisms for overcoming concerns. This report outlines these findings.

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