Earlier this year the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) launched its Longitudinal Studies Strategic Review – commissioned to assess the value and future needs of longitudinal research in the UK.
The review clearly recognised the importance of the UK’s portfolio of longitudinal studies, highlighting some of the key insights that have been realised through research using their data. It also rightly asked questions about how we can best promote the use of longitudinal data, and what training and capacity building can best help ensure that these valuable resources get used as much as possible.
The review recognised that, although individual studies can (and do) do a great deal to help their data users, there is considerable value in resources that apply to a range of longitudinal studies rather than just one.
This is an area we have been working hard on at CLOSER, a centre at the IOE that brings together eight world-leading longitudinal studies. We could see that, although there is existing provision for more experienced students and researchers, there is little available for those who are new to the studies. So we have focused our efforts on materials aimed at this group – which includes students early in their studies or researchers outside academia.